Koalas calling out for love

After deploying 50 songmeters to monitor koala numbers south of Bathurst, Central Tablelands Local Land Services is happy with the positive results.

Land Services Officer Mark Thomas worked with the NSW Koala Strategy team to establish baseline numbers of male koalas in a study population around Mount Rockley.

The work involved strategic placement of 50 acoustic songmeters for 14 nights during spring to record males calling.

Male koalas are noisy when it comes to looking for love!

Around spring male koalas make a bellowing, guttural call to attract females and ward off rivals making recording male calls koalas a good way to establish if koalas are in the area.

Mark has now retrieved the songmeters and after AI analysis, the results are in.

“The results have been excellent with koalas being detected in areas they had not been seen or heard for many years” Mark said.

“There have been a number of koala sightings on farms, in school grounds and even at the back of the pub.

“It’s great to get a scientific approach to monitor the numbers so we can see if the koala population is increasing or decreasing over time.”

The results have been encouraging with 32 positive recordings over the 50 locations where the songmeters were deployed.

This coupled with enthusiastic landholder support will also see 5,000 koala food and habitat trees planted with plans for more planned for the future.

Members of the community can get involved by utilising the I Spy Koala app. This easy to use and free app allows people to record sightings along with a photo uploaded directly to BioNet which is a large biodiversity database.

“A number of landholders and community members have already used the app to record sightings which helps contribute to a better understanding of the local populations.” said Mark.

Mark will be back out next spring to deploy songmeters to listen in on koalas calling out for love.

This is part of the Connecting Koalas project Local Land Services initiated under the Federal Government’s Koala Community Grants program. The project is a collaboration with Central Tablelands Landcare, Bathurst Regional Council and other NSW Government agencies.

The project aims to increase awareness and knowledge about the local koala population and improve koala habitat connectivity through tree planting.

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