New study asks: are koalas returning to North West Sydney?
Koala sighted by a resident in the Glenorie-Maroota area
Western Sydney University researchers are working with Cattai Hills Environment Network to determine if koala populations have returned to the Glenorie-Maroota area, after fires devastated the population in 2002.
Following reports of koala sightings in the area in the last few years, Dr Michelle Ryan from the University’s School of Science and Health will lead a team monitoring for signs of koalas.
“We’re setting up a number of remote wildlife cameras and acoustic recorders in locations where koalas have been reported,” said Dr Ryan.
“The cameras will record wildlife including any koalas. The acoustic recorders, called Song Meters, will be able to record koalas calling from up to a distance of 300 metres away.”
Dr Ryan and her team will also search for other evidence, including scats and scratch marks on trees.
Cattai Hills Environment Network President Sue Martin is calling on all residents of the Hills and Hawkesbury to report any signs of koalas they may come across.
“Community involvement in this project is crucial. Residents are encouraged to report sightings, sounds, scats and tree scratches to us, so we can focus our target area,” said Ms Martin.
To report koala sightings, email: firstname.lastname@example.org. To report a sick or injured koala, residents should contact WIRES.
To learn more about the project and how they can help, residents can attend a free Community Koala Day on Saturday 18 May at Glenorie Community Hall, 2-4pm.
Following the study, Dr Ryan plans to carry out more in-depth research into the health of the local koala population.
15 May 2019