Animal

Farmers To Bring Back Koala To A Region Of Victoria Australia

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Thousands of trees have been planted on a historic sheep grazing plot in an area with high-quality koala habitat. The restoration project aims to bring the iconic species back to a critical region in Victoria, Australia.

IFAW has partnered with the Koala Clancy Foundation to plant 6,000 trees on the moorabool River property in Victoria. The owners of the 459-hectare property are former farmers who are passionate about restoring the habitat of koalas.

“Koalas and other wildlife need trees to survive—it’s that simple. Every tree we plant is a lifesaver. It’s reassuring to see so many ordinary people investing to build a future for our iconic species,” said Josey Sharrad, IFAW wildlife campaign manager.

The area was once one of the best koala habitats in Victoria, but was cleared for agriculture many years ago, so koalas had only 20% of the critical habitat they had before. This is made worse by climate change, which is pushing koalas further south as they try to escape the heat and drought.

“The Victorian wildlife is against it. The state has the notorious title of having the worst grubbing-up rate in Australia, and our country has the worst mammal extinction rate in the world. These records are catastrophic and, combined with climate change, they are targeting our wildlife,” Ms Sharrad said.

Fortunately, a small number of koalas were spotted around the river, clinging to tree areas and desperately looking for a quality habitat.

“It’s been 100 years since koalas no longer have a habitat on this shore. 2023 is the year when IFAW and the Koala Clancy Foundation will change this. I am looking forward to starting replanting and giving this land back to wildlife,” said Janine Duffy, president of the Koala Clancy Foundation.

“Koalas desperately need this forest, and I know that they are nearby—I can almost feel them looking at us when we start planting.”

Owners Liz and Ross Wilkie dedicated about five acres of land to planting trees to encourage koalas to settle in the area.

“We know that there are koalas in the area, but unfortunately there were many more 10 years ago. There has been a significant decline in the last 20 years. We really hope that this plantation will bring the koalas back to the region,” Wilkie said.

“This is a fantastic approach from the Koala Clancy Foundation and IFAW – we are not only providing a corridor by increasing the number of trees, but also improving the surrounding ecosystem and creating habitat for native wildlife.”