There are two distinct koala populations in Victoria and South Australia. One is the endemic Strzelecki koala of South Gippsland Victoria and the other being koalas translocated from Victorian island populations throughout Victoria and South Australia.
This is a significant yet little understood phenomenon.
The Strzelecki koalas consist of the original diverse gene pool, whereas the translocated populations have gone through a "genetic bottleneck" resulting in much lower genetic diversity.
The Strzelecki koalas therefore, are crucial to animal's future in Victoria and South Australia. However their numbers are low, possibly as low as 1500 animals.Read more
Between December 2019 and July 2020, Environmental group, Friends of the Earth, carried out 200 koala surveys in the Strzelecki Ranges and Gippsland Region. The surveys hoped to better understand habitat utilisation by koalas in the region. The surveys add to other survey work conducted in the region between 2013-16.
Friends of the Earth believe that there may be as few as 1,500 of Victoria’s only endemic koalas remaining raising concerns for the future of the iconic animal.
The concerns come after the launch of the Koala Surveys: Strzelecki Ranges/Gippsland Regions December 2019 - July 2020 report.Read more
Australia’s Koalas are in Crisis.
The devastating ‘Black Summer’ bushfires decimated koala populations, and resulted in the death of more than 3 billion native animals.
Victoria’s endemic species of koala, the Strzelecki Koala, is the only remnant population of koala in Victoria and South Australia.
Their population is however under threat and does not have the adequate protections to ensure their survival.Read more
This week on Dirt Radio, host Em Gayfer Interviewed Anthony Amis from Friends of the Earth's SKAT (Strezlecki Koala Action Team) Collective around the ongoing work surveying koala habitat in Victoria's south-east since 2013.
They are working to create comprehensive mapping of the state's only endemic koala population.
Anthony Amis has been involved with forest conservation in the area since the 1990s and who has been heading up the koala mapping project.
This year he has surveyed around 200 sites, and we get an update on the project as it stands. You can find the mapping work here: https://strzkoala.australianmap.net/Read more
Friends of the Earths work to survey the habitat of the Strzelecki Koala is ongoing. We anticipate that 200 koala surveys will be completed by the end of July. We still have a long way to go though, to get a better understanding of the range and population size of the Strzelecki/South Gippsland Koala. That is why we want to increase the surveys from 200 to 300 by the end of 2020.
The Strzelecki/South Gippsland koala populations are unique. They are genetically significant, as they are the only koalas in Victoria and South Australia that are not from translocated populations. They consist of animals from the original diverse gene pool. More information can be found here.Read more
January 2020: Old growth Mountain Grey Gum at Mirboo North. A newly mapped koala hotspot
For many years, Friends of the Earth has been concerned about the only endemic koala population remaining in Victoria and South Australia. This population inhabits the Strzelecki Ranges/South Gippsland region of Victoria.
Results of our work, in conjunction with other groups was published in 2016. This work found that the preferred trees for Strzelecki Koalas were Mountain Grey Gum, Blue Gum and Strzelecki Gum. The work also determined a koala population of 0.09 animals per hectare of bushland.
We have continued this work in 2020 to further our understanding of the animal by conducting surveys in the Strzelecki Ranges and South Gippsland.
As of just before the COVID-19 lockdown, FoE has conducted a further 92 koala site surveys, after visiting 420 locations. The surveys have helped better understand the range of the animal by concentrating the surveying on preferred koala feed trees. Of most interest has been the addition of a number of new koala populations to the Strzelecki koala map database, managed by FoE.
In early February, Friends of the Earth was appalled by yet another koala massacre in the south west of the State.
A visit to the region last month confirmed our worst fears; Koalas that survive plantation logging are now facing starvation and are on the move across the landscape.
In order to get people to better understand some of the dynamics occurring in translocated koala populations, Friends of the Earth has has produced this short video.
We hope this provides a better insight into the disaster unfolding in the South West.
Many people would have seen the recent story regarding koala massacre currently occurring in South West Victoria published over the weekend.Read more