In July 2018, we met Janet in Werribee and gave her two sets of scales that I purchased for her. They were $350. She was so happy and couldn't wait to use them.
Finally on January 5th, mum and I were able to make the near 4hr drive down to Macarthur and spend a weekend with Janet. It was AMAZING!
She couldn't wait to show us around her new treatment room! Its incredible and has changed her life and the way she can treat koalas. How amazing does it look! With the help of her local Men's Shed, it didn't cost her the world. With my donations through 2018, I was able to help build this room.
It was not all koalas on the weekend. Janet's daughter Jade, took me out for a ride on one of her horses. It was so much fun- i Loved it! was very sore but it was worth it.
We also got to be "tourists" and got to go see the beach. I LOVE the beach!
We got to go out with Janet and see what threats koalas in her region are facing. The main threat is harvesting in Blue Gum Plantations.
Blue gum Plantation Koalas
Koalas cannot move through plantations once they have been harvested. The ground is covered with slash (timber, bark, chips from the harvesting) and they don't feel safe or sometimes are physically not able to move through it. They strip the trees they are in until there is nothing left. They are more vulnerable to predators both on ground and in the sky and are exposed to more weather and wind with no shelter from the "forest."
Whilst harvesting, they are not always detected in trees until they are harvested causing death or life threatening injuries. There needs to be more laws to protect them in plantations and more effort in ensuring they are protected when harvesting.
They are not given any habitat corridors within coupes and it is expected that they will simply move to other trees. This is NOT possible. Koalas are territorial and have a home range- even in plantations.
Koalas are forced to move and in doing so,
- cross roads and are hit by cars
- they wander onto farmlands and into backyards where they are attacked by dogs or trampled by livestock.
Young koala in a formally harvested plantation
Stranded koala in harvested plantation
We need to increase protection for them. We need to ensure they have habitat saved if they are found in coupes prior to harvesting. They need wildlife corridors within coupes and surrounding coupes. They need safe passages between trees in harvested coupes (clearing the land of slash immediately). They need more protection.
What can you do to help?
Use only environmentally friendly toilet paper, tissues, paper towel, PAPER- ANY paper products. These trees are being made into paper. Either here in Australia or being shipped through our ports to China to be made into paper products. This is NOT being made into building materials - its been made into PAPER. The more paper you can use that is made from recycled products- the better!
If you are buying timber- only buy timber that is ethically sourced. 'Well managed' according to Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) principles.
Found adjoining a plantation
Found IN plantations
I had the most amazing weekend at Macarthur. I learned lots, had lots of fun and was inspired to help Koalas in other ways. Thank you Janet and Jade for having my mum and I. We can't wait to come back again SOON!
My name is Libby and I am 13 years old. I am a Koala Crusader- raising money and awareness for our VULNERABLE koala's and spreading messages about our wildlife that we are lucky enough to live WITH. These are stories written by ME!