Cold Country Koalas Project

Enhancing and protecting koala habitat

Local Land Services is partnering with Landcare to deliver funding under the NSW Koala Strategy to support the recovery of the endangered Koala populations located in the Southern Tablelands/Monaro.

The Monaro is home to a unique koala population, mainly located around the ARKS (Area of Regional Koala Significance) as per the map below. Historical and recent surveys have shown that this area’s koala population has a local and state-wide significance. Under the NSW Koala Strategy, the Southern Tablelands includes one of ten koala strongholds within NSW. It is vitally important for us to protect and enhance koala habitat through on-ground works and to conduct ongoing surveys to learn more about this population and how we can help them.

Caring for Cold Country Koalas

The Cold Country Koala habitat enhancement and survey project has already allowed 15 landholders to protect and enhancing koala habitat in South East NSW, around the Numeralla ARKS (Area of Regional Koala Significance). This has involved livestock exclusion fencing and/or revegetation planting as well as pest animal and weed control works. The project has also included an audio ‘Koala Karaoke’ survey, which showed that the koala population in much of this area is going well despite being impacted by the 2019/2022 bushfires.

Registrations are now open

South East Local Land Services are offering co-contribution incentives to private land managers for on-ground works that protect and enhance koala habitat in and around the ARKS. On-ground works will also be supported by Koala surveys, regional seed collection initiatives and landholder education events.

Funded projects can include the following on-ground works;

  • site preparation, bush regeneration, or revegetation planting to expand, restore and connect koala habitat
  • livestock exclusion fencing to protect and enhance koala habitat
  • weed control to protect and enhance koala habitat
  • cultural/ecological burning.

Figure 1: Area of Regional Koala Significance (ARKS)
Figure 1: Area of Regional Koala Significance (ARKS)

Eligibility

N.B: Projects may include a range of the above activities

  • Eligibility for funding will be considered based on a range of criteria, including:
    • Proximity of the property to, and within the Areas of Regional Koala Significance.
    • Proximity of the property to an area of high biodiversity value (National Park, wildlife corridor, etc.)
    • Landholder’s demonstrated commitment to conservation and natural resource management.
    • Landholders are required to provide co-funding or in-kind contributions (e.g. labor for fencing) towards the project. Support for restoration activities available to a maximum of $2000/ha.
    • Landholders willingness and ability to maintain and monitor project sites, particularly revegetation works.
  • Projects will typically be limited to plantings of up to 600 trees or less unless the landholder can demonstrate that they have previously implemented a successful large-scale revegetation project.
  • Applications under this EOI are initially for the 2022-23 financial year, with potential for additional funding for further stages.
  • Local Land Services and Landcare will provide support to landholders in project development. Landholders will be expected to enter into a 10-year management agreement and will be required to undertake agreed management activities relevant to the funding they receive.
  • Local Land Services and Landcare are committed to the protection of Aboriginal Cultural Heritage. All project applications are assessed to determine if a known (registered) aboriginal site is located in close proximity to the project site. In the instances where this occurs, an Aboriginal Sites Officer may be engaged by Local Land Services to ensure that the proposed activities do not impact on Aboriginal Cultural Heritage.

Further guidelines regarding the eligibility of projects to be discussed following shortlisting of applications.

Download the expression of interest form PDF, 199.36 KB and return to the below contacts or complete the Cold Country Koalas online registration form before Friday 7 October 2022.

Koala Karaoke

Audio monitoring for koala presence is conducted with a small audio monitor that records the sound of the male koalas who are ‘singing’ (or bellowing) to attract a mate during the breeding season, which runs from around October to January in the South East.

The monitors are set to record from dusk to dawn for approximately 7-10 nights, with these recordings then computer-analysed to identify any koala calls. Landholders in appropriate areas may be able to participate in the Koala Karaoke program to find out more about koalas on their land.

There are also opportunities to explore cultural burning and to be involved in our Koala Karaoke audio monitoring program which will allow landholders to find out more about the koala population on their land.

Project contacts

For further information on the Cold Country Koalas Project please contact:

Kirrily Gould, Land Services Officer
Mobile: 0429 692 550
Email: Kirrily.gould@lls.nsw.gov.au

Georgeanna Story, Upper Murrumbidgee Landcare
Mobile: 0429 779 928
Email: upper.murrumbidgee@gmail.com

Keeping Cold Country Koalas safe from pests

This video highlights the importance of controlling pest animals in order to keep our Cold Country Koalas safe, and to protect their habitat from damage caused by pest animals such as pigs, deer and goats. The video is produced in partnership with the Feral Scan and highlights how logging feral animal sightings is easy, quick and effective with the use of the Feral Scan app, which helps land management groups to coordinate control programs.

Find out more about natural resource management to protect our native animals.

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