Bangalow Koalas president Linda Sparrow, cares for the trees that will go in the ground along the planned wildlife corridor.
Bangalow Koalas president Linda Sparrow, cares for the trees that will go in the ground along the planned wildlife corridor. Yvonne Gardiner

Corridor of survival: Group out to protect koalas

MEMBERS of the group Bangalow Koalas saw the need for an unbroken wildlife corridor to protect vulnerable animals, and in a short time have achieved much.

The group of about 60 volunteers started in April 2016, with the main goal of creating a wildlife corridor that connects existing sections of koala habitat and food trees on the western side of Bangalow heading towards Lismore.

This corridor would encourage koalas out of urban areas, away from the threats of dog attacks and car strikes.

At Bangalow Koalas' biggest planting so far, at the end of March, 1400 trees will be put in the ground - mainly tallowwood, forest red gum and swamp mahogany. Byron Shire Council funding will assist this project.

Group president Linda Sparrow says the corridor crosses six properties, all privately owned.

"The first property is ticked off - he's got enough trees," she said.

"The second property where we're planting 1400 trees is linked to that."

Bangalow Koalas has a stall at the farmers' markets on the fourth Saturday of each month to raise funds and awareness.

Linda also works with Friends of the Koala in Lismore, and has completed a koala rescue and handling workshop with that group.

"Our thing is all about educating, involving and inspiring the community," she said.

"People are now talking about the koala corridor, driving by and having a look.

"We've got the community behind us. It's inspiring.

"The landowners are really enthusiastic.

"The pre-school is wanting to get involved, and I've got businesses wanting to help out.

"In 2016 and 2017, we held koala health and habitat workshops for the community and, in 2018, are looking at a kid-friendly version of these workshops for the pre-school, Bangalow Primary School and Coorabell Primary School.

"Each tree we plant is helping to save a koala."

Expertise is at hand, with ecologists and scientists joining Bangalow Koalas.

"We've already got a lot of properties with koala trees. It's just a matter of connecting them," Linda said.

"I feel quite confident we can get this done."

Linda would particularly welcome to the group anyone experienced in writing grant proposals.

"Our goals for 2018 are to continue with fundraising and grant applications to help us create our wildlife corridor," she said.

"We are receiving enormous support and interest in tree plantings from Federal to Possum Creek, Binna Burra and Nashua and beyond."

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