Australia's iconic koala is in trouble.
The devastating 2020 bushfires killed more than 25,000 koalas nationwide. That, coupled with continued habitat destruction from land clearing, means that the koala is headed to extinction within this century.
But there is still hope...
Victoria’s only endemic species of koala, the Strzelecki Koala, may hold the key to the whole species survival. The Strzelecki Ranges are located about 2 hours south east of Melbourne.
You can help by signing up for monthly donations and becoming a part of the Strzelecki Koala Action Team. Not only will that mean you be supporting work to ensure the future survival of koalas everywhere, but you will also become a member the world's largest grassroots activist network, Friends of the Earth!
Tell Victorian Premier, Daniel Andrews to take action to protect the VIC's koala population
Citizen science program
Since 2013, Friends of the Earth have been mapping koala habitat in the Strzelecki Ranges.
During that time, our team of volunteers have mapped over 200 sites during this time. By mapping key areas we can identify koala hot spots and lobby for greater protection of these areas, through reduced burn-offs, reduced tree felling and implementation of better road signage.
August 2020: Results of surveys carried out between December 2019 and July 2020 here.
This unique map allows greater geographical understanding in which areas should be prioritised for future koala surveys. It also allows greater community input and understanding about koala hotspots.
View our Strzelecki Koala map here.
Want to find out more about our citizen science work? Click here.
Making a huge difference
On July 14th 2018, Victorian Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, Lily D'Ambrosio, and Gunai Traditional Owner Aunty Doris Paton formally announced the creation of the Brataualung Forest Park in the Strzelecki Ranges.
The name Brataualung refers to one of five clans of the Gunai tribe and was the nominated name for the Reserve by the GunaiKurnai Elders Council after a Government naming process.
The new Reserve covers 2,400 ha of land, including key cool temperate rainforest catchments in the Agnes River, Franklin River, Dingo Creek, Albert River and College Creek.
The new reserve is the result of more than 20 years campaigning in the region by many individuals and local groups, particularly Friends of Gippsland Bush, and Friends of the Earth.
For more information about what we do and why, Check this out!
Donations are sorely needed. Each day conducting surveys costs around $200. Your donation can help us find new koala populations.
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.
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.
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.
That's why EthicalJobs.com.au has committed to match, dollar for dollar, any donation made to Friends of the Earth through Chuffed until 30 September, up to a total of $30,000!Make a donation today!
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/