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    2020-26 Northern Tablelands Koala Partnership Project

    The Northern Tablelands region was identified as an important area for the future of koalas. It has several koala populations that are not subject to the same population and development pressures as those on the coast. The region may also be more resilient to the impacts of a changing climate.

    Recent research has indicated the Northern Tablelands has a resilient yet sparse koala population with small areas recognised as “hotspots” for koala movement a stable koala populations. Dedicated staff capacity was identified as a limiting factor in delivering successful conservation programs. In the 2020-21 financial year, the Northern Tablelands Koala Conservation Project was funded by the NSW government under the Saving our Species Iconic Koala Project.

    The project has now established partnerships with research, government, industry and community organisations that help provide knowledge and resources to achieve the ambitious Year 1 project objectives.

    Vision
    The Northern Tablelands Koala Conservation Project aimed to help secure the survival of koalas in the wild, throughout the Northern Tablelands region, for at least the next 100 years.  Koala Project Scope Web640

    Project Scope
    The geographic scope of the project was limited during the first year to the area bounded by Guyra in the north, Uralla to the south, Wollomombi in the east and Kingstown in the west.

    Project communication extended across the Northern Tablelands. Expansion of geographic scope to cover Southern New England (Ben Lomond to Nowendoc) has been discussed by project partners at the end of the first year of the project.

    This project is funded by Saving our Species (SoS) - the NSW Government’s framework for threatened species conservation. The program identifies actions needed to conserve each species in the wild for the next 100 years, including the cost of these actions and who should carry them out.

    Image: Indicative geographic scope for the project in Year One. 

    Achievements for Year 1 (to December 2021)

    In the first year, the project commenced and/or accomplished the following:

    • Convened a regional network of koala conservation stakeholders
    • Coordinated conservation efforts with support from regional stakeholders
    • Identified and mapped priority areas for koala habitat restoration
    • Worked with community and landholders to build greater awareness of koalas and their habitat requirements.
    • Hosted landholder field days and planned workshops promoting koala conservation actions.
    • Developed 12 landholder projects to plant 18 hectares of new vegetation with 14000 native koala plants and conserve 86 hectares of existing vegetation.
    • Assisted local plant nurseries to plan and secure funding to propagate native plants for koala habitat.
    • Developed a Koala Bushfire Recovery Plan through collaboration with local wildlife care organisations.
    • Developed of a Koala Disease Plan of Action with local wildlife care organisations.
    • Completed an extensive koala monitoring and surveying project across 50 sites in the Armidale Area of Koala Significance (Koala ARKS) to help inform the NSW Koala Research Plan.
    • Secured funding for koala conservation actions to at least 2025.

    Next Steps
    The Northern Tablelands Koala Partnership project, with the ongoing support of the NSW and Commonwealth governments, will continue to engage and work with the local community to achieve the objectives listed for Year One. The project will continue until at least 2025 to build the capacity and awareness of the Northern Tablelands community to help ensure the survival of the koala for the next 100 years.

    This initiative has been made possible through the Northern Tablelands Koala Partnership Project, hosted by Southern New England Landcare Ltd, and funded by the NSW Government.

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