More than 3300 koala food trees will be planted across the Sunshine Coast this week thanks to the massive response from Land for Wildlife participants to the Environment Levy-funded koala conservation incentive program.
Council's Infrastructure Services Director Andrew Ryan said support from the community was essential to help council conserve and protect the koala population which has been identified as under threat in South East Queensland.
"With more than 50% of the Sunshine Coast's remnant vegetation occurring on private lands, engaging, supporting and partnering with the community is an integral component for council in enhancing and protecting the region's native plants and wildlife," Mr Ryan said.
"Council offers Land for Wildlife members free land management advice, specialist workshops and technical advice as well as access to resources such as government grants and other incentives.
"By providing landowners with the resources to manage their own land, the region as a whole reaps the benefits. "As part of the implementation of the Koala Conservation Plan endorsed by council in October last year, council invited Land for Wildlife landholders to apply to receive up to 40 koala food trees to plant on their property.
"The response was overwhelming with 107 applications received, resulting in more than 3300 koala food trees being distributed to landholders.
"The main aim of the new incentive program is to increase the amount of koala habitat on the Sunshine Coast. "We started this year with Land for Wildlife landholders but plan to expand to other landholders in target areas in the next round.
"Residents were able to collect their trees at two workshops undertaken this month as well as learn a little more about koalas and their habitat requirements. "A popular addition to the workshops was a visit and demonstration by Maya, the koala scat detection dog from the University of the Sunshine Coast.
"We look forward to hearing updates from the participants as the trees are planted and hopefully their targeted inhabitants start moving in soon." Mr Ryan said there was always room for more Land for Wildlife participants.
"We welcome anyone who has a property with at least 1ha of native vegetation and wants to manage part or all of their property as habitat for native plants and animals, or is interested in integrating nature conservation with other land uses," he said.
For more information on the Land for Wildlife program, visit SEQ Catchments Land for Wildlife Southeast Queensland.
To join Land for Wildlife or to speak to a conservation partnerships officer, call council's customer service centre on 5475 7272 or email LFW@sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au.