Koalas

Koalas in Byron Shire

Koalas are an iconic Australian species, recognised internationally and loved locally.  They are a uniquely Australian species depending primarily on Eucalypts for feed trees.

Unfortunately koalas have faced a number of threats to their survival which has resulted in significant declines to their population across their range. This decline has resulted in the listing of koalas as a Vulnerable species under both the NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 and FederalEnvironmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. These listings, in short, mean that unless steps are taken to protect and conserve koalas, they could become locally extinct. Byron Shire Council is commited to working with the community to prevent this from happening.

Draft Byron Coast Comprehensive Koala Plan of Management – Public Exhibition

The Draft Byron Coast Comprehensive Koala Plan of Management is on exhibition from
11 February 2014 to 21 March 2014 and is available at community access points around the Shire during this period.

The Draft Byron Coast Comprehensive Koala Plan of Management has been prepared in accordance with State Environmental Planning Policy 44 (Koala Habitat) and aims to enable a long term sustainable future for koala populations in the Byron coastal area.

Want to find out more? 

Public information sessions will occur on:

  • Thursday 20 February at 5:30pm at the Council Chambers, Mullumbimby
  • Wednesday 26 February at 5:30pm at the ByronBay Community Centre.

Council staff will also have an information tent at:

  • New Brighton farmers markets on 4 March and
  • Mullumbimby farmers markets on 7 March.

The following information sheets can be viewed which provide further details:

  • Byron Coast Koala Habitat Study
  • Byron Coast Comprehensive Koala Plan of Management
  • Frequently Asked Questions

If you wish to make a submission, please do so in writing, addressed to the General Manager, Byron Shire Council, PO Box 219 Mullumbimby 2482 or sent by email to submissions@byron.nsw.gov.au .  Emailed submissions to this address only will be acknowledged.

Project  Reference Group
A project reference group has been formed to provide advice and guidance on the preparation of the Byron Koala Plan of Management to ensure that it meets the aim of SEPP 44.

The PRG is made up of Councillors, representatives from Office of Environment and Heritage, Department of Planning and Infrastructure, Friends of the Koala, a community representative as well as Council staff.

Minutes from the PRG meeting are available to view at www.byron.nsw.gov.au/committees/koala-plan-of-management-project-reference-group.

Byron Coast Koala Habitat Study
The Habitat Study was undertaken in 2012 and provides the scientific background used to inform the development of the KPOM. The habitat study includes analysis of historical records, assessment of current koala population distribution and size; analysis of preferred food trees; mapping of koala habitat; identification of important linkages between high activity areas; assessment of threatening processes; and recommendations for the KPOM.

Where are the koalas in Byron Shire?
Koalas have been recorded over much of the shire however the habitat study identifies five areas of significant koala activity on the coast at Brunswick Heads, Tyagarah, Myocum, West Mullumbimby, West Byron. In the hinterland koala strongholds have been identified in Federal, Goonengerry, Wilson Creek and Montecollum.

Council encourages landholders to report koala sightings so they can be recorded into Council threatened flora and fauna database. This provides a record of koala locations which is used to improve their management.

Koala Connections project
Koala Connections is a project aimed at restoring and reconnecting koala habitat to provide a secure future for koalas on the NSW far north coast.

Byron Shire Council and Tweed Shire Council are working together on the Koala Connections project, which is being funded principally by a $2.1 million grant from the Federal Government’s Clean Energy Future Biodiversity Fund.

The program will work with landholders to improve and reconnect koala habitat and endangered ecological communities through tree planting, weed control, community engagement, invasive vertebrate pest management and fire management and planning.

To find out more go to Koala Connections.

Useful links

Friends of the Koala 24 hour Koala rescue 02 6622 1233
www.friendsofthekoala.org/fok/

Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water Population and Communities
www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/species/koala.html

National Koala Conservation and Management Strategy 2009-2014www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/publications/koala-strategy/index.html

NSW Koala Recovery Plan
www.environment.nsw.gov.au/threatenedspecies/recoveryplans.htm

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