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    Landcare News Items

    Tails Wagging on the Research Trail

    Baxter Detection Dog320When attempting to sniff out solutions to learn more about Australia’s biodiversity such as koala populations, what better way than to enlist man’s best friend for the job?

    Detection dogs may not spring to mind as the first thing we think about when looking for koala habitat, but Northern Tablelands Local Land Services has commissioned a team of researchers from the University of the Sunshine Coast to find out more about local koalas.

    The team will be led by researcher, Dr Romane Cristescu.  Information gained through this important research will be utilised by Northern Tablelands Local Land Services to direct conservation efforts more effectively.

    Elsie Baker, Land Services Officer for Northern Tablelands Local Land Services, is delighted to welcome Baxter as an integral part of the Cool Country Koala Project where he will be carrying out surveying work over the next three weeks along travelling stock reserves in the Glen Innes and Tenterfield areas.

    Baxter will assist in the determination of koala presence or absence by locating koala scats by scent, but he can’t do it alone!  Northern Tablelands Local Land Services would like to hear from residents in and around Tenterfield and Emmaville about any koalas they see.

    Two workshops about the Cool Country Koala Project will be held, the first in Emmaville on 19 November at the Emmaville Oval from 11am – 12pm, as well as Tenterfield on 20 November at Sunnyside Hall from 4pm – 6:30pm with dinner included.     

    Everyone is invited to attend the workshops led by Romane, to learn interesting facts about koalas, their ecology and habitat, as well as how best to spot and record sightings.  The highlight of the workshops will be the opportunity to meet Baxter and see him in action.

    The community is encouraged to record koala sightings using the Atlas of Living Australia mobile phone app which will be demonstrated at the workshops. As the area is also prime habitat for the threatened Regent Honeyeater, talks will also be given about the species.

    Elsie Baker sees the workshops and surveying process as an important step.

    “We would love to see as many people as possible get involved. You can help by signing up to attend a workshop,” she said.

    “Recorded sightings will help to build a better picture of koala populations. A sighting recorded on your property won’t restrict your land management; but it will help to preserve this iconic Australian species.”

    Romane Cristescu and Baxter welcome people saying hello.

    “If you do see Romane and Baxter on the trail, he is always pleased when people stop to welcome him to the area,” said Elsie.

    Contact Elsie Baker to register or for further information on 0439 094 286.

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