How you can help nourish precious koalas

Rescued koalas with fresh fodder

The Sunshine Coast community is encouraged to register a helping hand and join a tree planting day that will supply sick and orphaned koalas with fresh leaves.

Sunshine Coast Council Parks and Gardens team, in partnership with Nambour, Woombye and Maleny Rotary clubs, Hinterland Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation Inc. and Cr David Law, will come together at Mapleton to plant 500 food trees for the local koala habitat.

Division 10 Councillor David Law said this was a family friendly event and no experience was necessary to lend a hand.

“This event offers an important opportunity for the community to learn about the varieties of eucalyptus trees favoured by koalas and how the plantation plays a key role for local organisations caring for koalas,” Cr Law said.

“Education is key if we want to restore and conserve koala habitat. By planting more of the right kind of food trees we can all play a part in ensuring the future of our koalas.

“This particular koala fodder plantation will see the trees’ height capped to a maximum of 3.5m to allow the leaves to be harvested by carers in a safe manner.

“Our team of staff and volunteers are excited to share their local knowledge and passion about caring for the local environment and supporting koalas to not just survive, but thrive.”

Rachel Aspinall has been caring for wildlife on the Sunshine Coast for many years and said she had cared for eight orphaned koalas and facilitated their release.

“I have received my specialist koala licence and I carry out around 15 health checks per year,” Ms Aspinall said.

“Koalas need access to fresh leaf daily and it is difficult to harvest these from fully grown trees. These smaller trees would create easy access for koala carers to collect fresh leaves.

Koala release to bushland

“The plantation plays a key food source role in supporting orphaned koalas grow into healthy adults to be released back into the wild.”

The Rotary Club of Nambour President Steve Morrison said he welcomed the tree planting event and looks forward to the plantation flourishing to support wildlife carers.

“We have worked collaboratively with Council on behalf of the Nambour, Woombye and Maleny Rotary Clubs to support local wildlife volunteers facing challenges sourcing fresh leaves for rescued koalas,” Mr Morrison said.

The plantation will cover close to 4000m2 of a previously unutilised area. A variety of native species will be utilised to cater for the varying nutritional needs of rescued Koalas.

Koala Fodder Plantation Day
When: Sunday, July 16, 2023
Time: 9am to Midday
Location: Spring Pastures Bushland Reserve, Spring Pastures Drive, Mapleton, 4560
Register: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/koala-fodder-plantation-day-tickets-652591517797

Gloves and equipment for planting will be provided. Participants should wear sturdy, enclosed shoes, long covered clothing, be sun safe and bring a reusable water bottle.

Booking are essential via https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/koala-fodder-plantation-day-tickets-652591517797.

Key facts about the plantation:

  • Trees will be pruned (pollard) at a height of around 1.5 – 2m after around 2 years of growth to ensure accessibility for wildlife carers and encourage foliar growth.
  • Pollarding is a method of pruning that keeps trees and shrubs smaller than they would naturally grow. While this practice shortens the lifespan of trees, for this application it will maintain the trees at a manageable level for wildlife carers.
  • Wildlife carers interested in gaining access to the fodder from this plantation can contact Council at parksandgardens@sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au .

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