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Background

 

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In October 2009 the Macedon Ranges Wildlife Network – a group of local volunteer wildlife rehabilitators and rescuers, instigated a community based koala survey targeting the entire area of the Macedon Ranges Shire.

Members of the group had become frustrated by the lack of current data and knowledge relating to koala populations within our Shire (excluding the annual koala count at the Hanging Rock Reserve and the Hanging Rock koala habitat report prepared by AKF).

The last records of community koala counts were from 2002, conducted by the Macedon Ranges Conservation Society and targets a specific areas around Mt Macedon, Macedon and Riddells Creek, even then there were concerns with the decline in koala numbers.

The 2009 self funded MRWN project included, an online survey, printed survey forms and with the generous support of the Midland Express newspaper, a full page survey in their Friday edition just prior to the survey period.

 

So the question was asked….”How many koalas have you seen lately?”

 

The results of the 2009 survey indicated a community concern over the apparent decline in koala numbers, some residents had gone from sighting koalas regularly over the years to no sightings at all.

The Australian Koala Foundation has a population estimate of 1000-2000 koalas (in the McEwen electorate) but no one knows for sure!

Given that 86% (150,784 hectares) of the Shire total area is privately owned property, and combined with 5148ha of road reserves, it makes sense to assume that a large proportion of koala habitat and  koalas, are on private properties and utilizing road reserves.

So to monitor current populations of koalas, the residents of the Macedon Ranges Shire and surrounding districts are encouraged to participate. 

Since our 2009 community survey, we have continued to record locations of sightings, record incidents of injuries and deaths of koalas. These records will all be added to the Shire wide data.

While this project will not give accurate koala numbers, it will give a broader picture to population locations and better insight into threats if any and guidance for management.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The word "Koala"

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Koala is a Koori word which means "no drink"