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    Koalas in the Spotlight Attracts Crowds

    Detection DogKoalas in the Spotlight was held at University of New England's Newholme field laboratory on the evening of March 19th, 2021 and attended by 40+ people.

    Newholme is a research property at Mount Duval and is a well-known koala corridor.

    The amount of interest generated by the event meant that many people unfortunately missed their chance for a ticket, however Southern New England Landcare aims to hold a similar event toward the end of 2021.

    Koala populations in NSW are under significant threat of extinction due to human impact, disease and climate related events such as drought and bushfires.

    The event, part of the 2021 Northern Tablelands Koala Partnership Project, aims to engage the community in koala conservation by raising awareness of local Koala populations and provide a range of simple actions to help our koalas survive.

    “Koalas in the Spotlight” included a demonstration by Koala Detective Dogs - a program where "detective dogs" are trained to sniff out koala droppings.

    The Detective Dog Team, from the University of Sunshine Coast, are currently surveying Northern Tablelands Koala populations.

    According to the team the detective dogs can assess whether Koalas have been in the area about 150 time faster than it takes humans to assess an area for koala presence.

    The event also included a trapping and relocating demonstration from Koala Ecologist John Lemon, to showcase how local wildlife carer groups respond to community reporting in instances where koalas wander into urban areas and become trapped by fences or endangered by dogs and vehicles.

    Following dinner and a project presentation by the Southern New England Landcare team, the evening was rounded out with a spotlight walk through bushland to detect local koalas.

    Although no koalas were “spotlighted” on this occasion, participants were rewarded when finding a Greater Glider, a Tawny Frogmouth and a few possums along the way.

    A short film capturing the event can be viewed via Southern New England Landcare’s Facebook page.

    Southern New England Landcare would like to thank all participants for their enthusiasm during this event and hope to keep in touch with the Armidale community through the Koala Partnership Project.

    This event was funded by the NSW Government Saving Our Species program.

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