Make a Home for Koala Clancy ..... Wild Koalas need habitat urgently
Click image to see Clancy's family album - The Smoky Dynasty!
Baby koala Clancy left his mum Pat, as all young males do, to find a home of his own. But all the good homes in the You Yangs were already taken by older, stronger males.
Luckily for Clancy, where he lives is part of the Echidna Walkabout Koalas & Kangaroos IN THE WILD tour where travellers began helping to make him a home.
Boneseed is an invasive weed that has taken over large areas in the You Yangs Regional Park, where Clancy lives. Thick infestations of Boneseed degrade koala habitat and we noticed that Koalas don’t use areas heavily infested with Boneseed.
Since 2011 when we commenced the Make a Home for Koala Clancy project the wild koala sightings in the area went up dramatically, particularly in areas where boneseed had been removed and they could move around more easily.
It is working! and it led to the beginning of Koala Clancy Foundation incorporated so that the work could be expanded.
Boneseed Chrysanthemoides monilifera is a Weed of National Significance.
“It is regarded as one of the worst weeds in Australia because of its invasiveness, potential for spread, and economic and environmental impacts” Commonwealth Department of Environment and Heritage.
In the You Yangs, Boneseed spread quickly after a bushfire and now infests 1300 hectares of the 2000 hectare park. Removing Boneseed plants is easy. They have shallow roots, are non-toxic, soft and easy to pull out by hand.
Koala Habitat and Boneseed
Koala Researching in the You Yangs started in 2006 and we quickly realised that koalas are rarely seen in areas thickly infested with the weed. Boneseed may deprive the eucalyptus trees of water or nutrients, it may make ground travel difficult for the koalas, or it may simply upset the delicate natural balance of the ecosystem. It is clear that areas of koala habitat are being lost to the weed.
On left is the signage that the national parks organisation erected to recognise our contribution.
KOALA CONSERVATION DAYS FOR LOCALS and for INTERNATIONAL GROUPS
In 2014 Echidna Walkabout started running Koala Conservation Days for Locals. These special days are now managed and offered by Koala Clancy Foundation - twice a month for local Melbourne residents (you don't have to be an Australian citizen, just a long-term resident of Melbourne to participate.)
The aim of these days is public awareness and education, and large-scale weed removal. Each day participants remove around 8,000 weeds = koala habitat for nearly 2 koalas for a whole year, in just one day! We are also now planting more habitat for the local koala population. Note: these days are heavily subsidised by Echidna Walkabout to make them accessible for all locals.
KOALA CONSERVATION STATUS:
Wild koalas in Australia are under threat from climate change, loss of habitat, drought and bushfire. Their conservation status is listed as Vulnerable in 3 states. In the You Yangs from 2009 to 2011 wild koala numbers halved due to drought. Immediate, dramatic action is required to protect them.
Our 'Make a Home for Koala Clancy' project is creating new habitat for wild koalas right now.
Get involved! You can help too, wherever you are!
$600 helps create habitat for one wild koala for a whole year!
Just $50 pays for habitat creation for a wild koala for a month!