30 September 2021
Koalas can be devilishly hard to spot in the treetops, but you’ll increase your chances when you register for our FREE lunchtime webinar ‘Are You Koalafied?’ and learn how to find, identify, sex, and survey these iconic marsupials.
Logan City Council and Wildlife Queensland have teamed up to bring you the newest addition to our popular Talking Wildlife webinar range. These expert tips for finding and identifying koalas will help prepare you for the Logan City Council Koala Count in November 2021 and citizen science surveys across South East Queensland during koala mating season.
Date: Thursday 28 October 2021
Time: 12 midday to 1 pm
Presenters: Matt Cecil (Wildlife Queensland) and Dr Sean FitzGibbon (University of Queensland)
Learn more about koalas
Koalas are dietary specialists that are heavily dependent on suitable eucalypt woodland habitat – much of which is found along Australia’s populated eastern coastline. Unfortunately, this forces koalas to coexist with humans, which places them at risk of displacement when pockets of suitable land are cleared for human development or landscapes are fragmented. It also brings them into contact with marauding domestic pets and puts koalas at risk of vehicle strikes when they travel overland to find mates or shelter.
Add threats such as bushfires and increasingly warm weather due to climate change, and the result is a sharp decline in koala populations nationwide. A report released this month by the Australian Koala Foundation suggests populations in Queensland have declined by as much as 37% since 2018, following devastating fires across much of their range.
About the webinar
During this 1-hr webinar, Matt Cecil from Wildlife Queensland and Dr Sean FitzGibbon from the University of Queensland will explain more about koala behavioural ecology and the threatening processes that affect koalas.
You’ll also learn:
- how to determine habitat that has the highest likelihood of koalas and how koalas navigate through fragmented habitats
- how to detect the presence of koalas from scats, tracks, scratches and vocalisations
- how to determine the sex and age of a koala
- how to tell if a koala is sick or injured and what to do if you encounter a vulnerable koala
- tips for reporting sightings to council and citizen science surveys – like the Logan Koala Count in November.
Plus, you’ll get a glimpse into brand-new University of Queensland koala research, as well as ongoing community engagement and landholder assistance projects offered by Logan City Council.
What is being done to help save koalas?
Conservation groups, residents and councils are committed to protecting koalas, but to do that, we need to know where they are and to account for localised pressures that drive down koala numbers. One of the best ways to help koalas quickly is to get landholders and citizens involved in koala counts and surveys that provide hard data about when and where koalas are present, such as the Logan City Koala Count.
We hope this webinar will not only attract koala enthusiasts who wish to find, observe and photograph these adorable marsupials but also appeal to landholders who are keen to survey for koalas on their own properties and to discover ways to attract and protect koalas throughout their region.
Koalas need your involvement
Citizens can provide valuable research that adds to the knowledge scientists like Dr. FitzGibbon at the University of Queensland use when studying koala ecology and how habitat fragmentation, disease (particularly Chlamydia) and climate change will impact long-term population dynamics.
Statewide and local conservation groups including Wildlife Queensland’s Scenic Rim Branch and the Logan Valley Koala Project are also keen to work with residents to increase community understanding of koalas and figure out how these marsupials use special shelter trees on private property and how we can allow for safer movement between Crown land in national parks and reserves and private land.
Nationwide groups, such as the Australian Koala Foundation, continue to advocate for greater federal protection for this species, which is currently listed as vulnerable only in Queensland, New South Wales and the ACT.
Closer to home, councils such as Logan City Council aim to mitigate threats and increase koala populations through better planning, such as The City of Logan Koala Conservation Strategic Plan 2013–2023. Logan City Council has also set aside specific tracts of land for koala conservation, including a 212-hectare property at Greenbank in February 2021, and offer a range of incentives through their Environmental Conservation Partnerships program, which supports private landholders in conserving and enhancing wildlife habitat. This includes grants for weed control and revegetation activities, tips on responsible pet ownership, information on wildlife-friendly fencing, and koala awareness campaigns such as this webinar and the Logan City Koala Count on iNaturalist in November.
We hope you can join us.
Even if you can’t join us in real-time on the day, all sign-ups receive a link to download the webinar later, so please register today.
You might also like to share a link to this page with family and friends throughout South East Queensland and particularly within the Logan Local Government Area.
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