What do Sunshine Coast koalas do in their spare time?
  • Monday 07 March 2016
Graham the koala

To better understand how to protect and enhance the vulnerable koala population on the Sunshine Coast, council has teamed up with the University of Queensland to investigate the secret life of this iconic Australian species by tracking their every move.

Manager Environmental Operations Chris Allan said the Environment Levy funded tracking program would enable council to study the ecology of koalas on the Sunshine Coast.

“As part of the implementation of the Koala Conservation Plan, the tracking program will include up to six koalas from the Tanawha, and possibly Buderim, area being fitted with GPS collars and having a thorough health check at the same time,” Mr Allan said.

“The data gathered will provide valuable insights into koala home ranges and habitat use in the study area.

“We also hope to gain a better understanding of the way koalas move about the landscape and whether their activities are placing them at risk of vehicle strike or dog attack.

“This is because research in South East Queensland has shown that loss and fragmentation of habitat, disease and trauma from car strikes and dog and feral animal attacks are taking a significant toll on koala populations with some researchers warning the koala could be at risk of local extinctions.”

Mr Allan said the Friends of the Maroochy Regional Bushland Botanic Gardens would also be playing an active role in the research project. 

“The Friends will be keeping tabs on where “Graham” – a koala specially named after Friends of MBRG volunteer, Graham Innes – is located and what tree species he is using,” he said.

The tracking program is just one of many components of council’s Koala Conservation Plan aimed at protecting the Sunshine Coast koala population through a greater understanding of their habitat requirements and threats to their conservation.