NSW Environment Minister Matt Kean has today announced the launch of a new app and the release of the first Annual Report for the Koala Strategy, during a visit to mark construction for a new koala hospital and accommodation in Port Stephens.
The new Koala Sanctuary, funded with $3 million from the NSW Koala Strategy, is just one of the many on-ground actions being delivered under the $45 million NSW Koala Strategy.
The success of the strategy is highlighted with stories like Eila and her koala joey Patu. Eila spent 108 days in intensive care, with serious burns, from the Mambo wetland fires in December 2018. Eila’s continuous recovery and the birth of Patu, is nothing short of a miracle and testament of the tremendous care from Port Stephens Koalas wildlife carers.
“Little koala joey Patu is living proof of how important the work of those treating and rehabilitating koalas in the region is,” Mr Kean said. The Minister also announced the launch of the “I Spy Koala” App, created as part of the NSW Koala Strategy to get NSW communities involved in mapping where they have seen koalas.
“Spotting a koala in the wild is an incredible feeling and we all have the opportunity to make sure we see more of them. By using the app, you are a key part of helping us protect koalas. With better knowledge of koala populations across NSW, we can make better conservation decisions.”
“I encourage everyone in the community – koala rehabilitators, vets, ecologists, researchers, wildlife enthusiasts – to download ‘I Spy Koala’ to record their NSW koala sightings.
“Remember if you see sick or injured wildlife, please contact your local wildlife rehabilitation group directly to ensure care can be provided as soon as possible,” said Mr Kean.
Key achievements under the NSW Koala Strategy include:
o $1.93 million funding allocated to 10 new koala research projects, including new and improved chlamydial treatments.
o More than $1 million on local koala conservation projects.
o Construction of over 9km of fencing along Picton Road, near Wollondilly, to channel koalas and other wildlife to existing crossings under the road.
o The protection of about 7,000 hectares of koala habitat.
Mr Kean said that while there is still lots of work ahead, these milestones are an important step to safeguard the welfare of koalas in NSW.
“We all have a role in saving the koala – and the NSW Koala Strategy is creating opportunities for all of us in the community to get involved in koala conservation, whether you want to protect koala habitat on your land or report a koala sighting”, said Mr Kean.