A new collaboration in the Hastings-Macleay region is building a strong partnership to deliver koala conservation on the Mid-North coast of NSW. The Koala Recovery Partnership brings together local and state governments, the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital, private landholders and researchers to secure koalas in the wild.

A dedicated koala officer, Rebecca Montague-Drake, is leading implementation of the program. Rebecca is a koala ecologist with experience in wildlife research and working for government departments. She says the partnership “seeks to reverse the threats that impact koalas in our region using a variety of science, on-ground and community engagement endeavours”.

Some of the major threats to koalas in the region include fires, dog attacks, vehicle strikes, habitat loss and disease. The partnership project is working with rural fire brigades to improve fire management in koala habitats. The project is also bringing the conservation message into schools.

Koala Smart is a Lions Club program that engages primary and secondary school children to address the decline in koala populations and find ways they can help. The program poses the question “What would you do to save the koala?”. Students have come up with ideas ranging from koala rescue apps to wooden ladders to help koalas escape from suburban back yards.

The Koala Recovery Partnership is funded by the NSW Government Saving our Species program, the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital, and Port Macquarie-Hastings and Kempsey Shire Councils.

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