Friends of the Earth Melbourne is requesting your assistance in getting the Strzelecki koala listed under federal environmental legislation. We are urging people to send off out petition to Federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley. (Please sign here)
Strzelecki Koala: South east of Churchill Jan 2021
The Strzelecki/South Gippsland koala populations most likely total between 1500-2000 animals. Surveys by Friends of the Earth between March and April in Won Wron state forest have indicated that for large portions of intact native vegetation remaining in the Gippsland region, the amount of koalas remaining may be much less than previously considered. Initial surveys in May at nearby Mullungdung State Forest are showing even lower numbers than Won Wron.
Koalas were listed as vulnerable in Queensland and New South Wales under the EPBC Act by the Federal Government in 2012. Victorian koalas were not included in this decision, due to the large number of translocated animals in other regions of Victoria. At that time there was also limited information about populations of Strzelecki/South Gippsland koalas.
In 2016 Biolink Ecological Consultants published 'Habitat Utilisation by Koalas in the Gippsland Region'. This report estimated approximately 945 koalas (0.09/ha) over 10,500ha of habitat that was surveyed between 2013 and 2016. The Biolink study surveyed the "best" remaining habitat in the Strzelecki Ranges. Recent work in the Won Wron State Forest by FoE suggests 50 koalas in a forest totaling 6700ha!
The Strzelecki Ranges is largely cleared, with the least amount of reserves than any other bioregion in Victoria. The biggest threats to koalas in the Strzelecki Ranges and South Gippsland regions include: climate change, bushfires, plantation logging, tree removal, road kills and attacks by dogs.
We need to act quickly to protect these unique animals. The fact they have survived at all is a miracle and has occurred by chance and not design. Victorian legislation does not offer protection of species based on genetic diversity. Federal legislation apparently does.