Locations of koalas, Ethan, Airlie and Tyler near the corner of Wharf and Middle Sts, Cleveland on 8 Dec 16
About the project
The Qld State Government and Redland City Council support Cleveland’s Toondah Harbour precinct being developed as a Priority Development Area.
“The Toondah Harbour Priority Development Area (PDA) was declared at the request of Redland City Council (RCC) on 21 June 2013. Planning of the Toondah Harbour PDA is being managed by the Minister for Economic Development Queensland (MEDQ) in partnership with RCC.” http://www.dilgp.qld.gov.au/planning/priority-development-areas/toondah-harbour.html
While Koala Action Croup (KAG) recognises that this area would benefit from an upgrade to its existing architecture, it also believes the current proposal produces unacceptable environmental risks and significant degradation of adjacent public facilities.
The development proposal involves the combination of existing land use and reclamation of a marine environment to provide a base for the construction of, in addition to other buildings and facilities, 3,000 apartments in blocks up to ten storeys high.
Consistent reports of koala sightings in the Toondah area and adjacent streets and parks led KAG to conduct a public survey on the 17 August 2016 where 50 community members found nineteen individual koalas within one and a half kilometres of the Toondah area. This number is consistent with a test survey carried out a month earlier and the sighting of at least six mothers with young during the community survey demonstrates that this is a healthy breeding population.
Following the success of the community survey KAG determined to contract Endeavour Veterinary Ecology Pty Ltd (EVE) to conduct a scientific tracking program to monitor the daily movements of six koalas in the Toondah area. The program involves fitting the koalas with specialised tracking collars which report twice daily to local base stations. The koalas are also manually tracked every few days to ensure they do not suffer any ill effects from collaring.
The initial funding for the project came from a group of Ormiston and Cleveland residents setting up a crowd funding scheme through the Chuffed crowd funding platform. Patrica and Warick Larcombe were Silver Sponsors to the Chuffed campaign with a donation of $250.
Additional money was provided by KAG and a RCC Conservation grant of $6,600. RCC councillors Wendy Boglary and Murray Elliot have also provided $3,500 through the small councillor grant.
On going funding is being sought to complete a comprehensive twelve month tracking study.
The tracking project has started.
A qualified koala catcher from EVE caught a juvenile male koala (Ethan) and a mum with baby (Hollie and Violet). Both Ethan and Holley were fitted with GPS collars and released back into their trees after health checks from a vet from EVE.
The next koalas to be collared and released were Tyler who is an adult male and Airlie, an adult female.
KAG will provide regular screen shots from a website set up to record the movement patterns of the collared koalas.