2022 was a year of milestones and firsts for Koala Clancy Foundation: 27,629 +11,000 trees planted (our highest ever), 259,350 weeds removed, 882 volunteers contributed 2409 hours to koalas, a first-ever protest rally for Victorian Koalas, and good news stories in the media. Here’s a summary of the biggest items:
Four new koala joeys in our You Yangs koala population!
Supermum Ngardang produced little Goim sometime before September 2022 when we first saw him. He has huge ears. He continued to be seen with Ngardang until this week. The header pic is this handsome fellow, newly independent.
Kiki’s joey was only just seen in early November. We haven’t named this little beauty yet.
Emu is Wemba’s sixth joey that we know of. He is very curious, and always looks at us.
Goora, a fairly new female in our population, has produced her second joey.
27,629 koala trees planted in 2022
We were thrilled to plant over 27,000 koala trees on 9 properties in the valleys of the Little, Barwon and Moorabool Rivers this season. Those trees and plants cover 33 hectares and span 4.145km of river frontage. Based on 3,000 trees each, that is new homes for 9 adult koalas in about 4 years from now.
Our total this year is higher than our 2021 season of 25,784 koala trees.
Overall around the You Yangs we have planted a total of 70,004 trees since 2016. That works out to 23 koalas living safe and healthy lives.
Also, another 11,000 trees were planted in East Gippsland on our behalf.
Koala Rally in Melbourne
We organised the first-ever koala rally in Melbourne for Victorian Koalas. Over 50 people showed up outside Daniel Andrews office in Noble Park to talk about the threats to Victorian Koalas and present a list of urgent demands to the Premier.
Huge thanks to everyone who attended, or called the Premier that day. Special thanks to my co-organisers Jess Robertson at Ballarat Wildlife Rehabilitation & Conservation, and Mel Darer at Friends of Alberton West Forests, and their teams, all the signatories and speakers, and Extinction Rebellion Victoria – especially the Ballarat chapter – who helped to organise the logistics.
Old male koala Winberry checked out our planting site
Our oldest male koala, Winberry, was spotted on our Red Gum Floodplain tree planting site on Branch Road, You Yangs just days before our first planting. We couldn’t believe it – he is at least 16 years old, and when we hadn’t seen him for a few months we thought he had died. Far from it, he was running his experienced eyes over our closest tree planting location.
From his last known location in April 2022, he had moved 1.1km to get to the planting site. But that’s not really unusual for a wild koala.
Read about Winberry here: https://www.koalaclancyfoundation.org.au/about-koala-winberry/
Koala Joey Mimi returns
Its always very exciting when our babies return as adults. The day before New Year’s Eve Bart found a male koala in our research area. When I visited I could see that he was a fairly young male, possibly 3 years old, and I felt that I knew him. His behaviour was wary, but not terrified, which could mean he remembered us.
On checking our Koala nose pattern database I found a match: Mimi, son of Kiki, born in early 2019. The last time we saw him was February 2020.
We hope he stays, but if he doesn’t that’s fine too – it’s a relief to know he’s healthy.
259,350 Boneseed weeds removed in 2022
We have continued to remove invasive weed Boneseed from the You Yangs in 2022. This introduced weed damages koala habitat. In 2022 our wonderful teams of Koala Clancy volunteers removed 259,350 Boneseed weeds. That brings our overall total up to 3.9million Boneseed weeds removed from the You Yangs since 2012.
Read why Boneseed is a problem for koalas: https://www.echidnawalkabout.com.au/how-boneseed-weed-affects-koalas/
883 volunteers working for koalas in 2022
883 magnificent local volunteers spent their time working on koala projects with us in 2022. They contributed 2409 hours to tree planting, removing weeds, koala research and helping to soft-release 4 Common Ringtail Possums.
Overall, since 2014 we’ve hosted a total of 5407+ volunteers who have contributed 11,442 hours to koalas.
Mention in Australian Federal Parliament!
Federal Senator Janet Rice attended our tree planting day on 10 July at the Balliang Grey Box site, along with two City of Geelong councillors: Sarah Mansfield and Belinda Moloney. Afterwards, on 26 October she mentioned Koala Clancy Foundation in Parliament, in support of the Save The Koala Bill.
“Recently I joined a koala habitat tree-planting day with the Koala Clancy Foundation. It was industrial-scaled tree planting. As far as the eye could see, trees were going in the ground. There were about 50 volunteers of the day I was there, and over a period of a couple of weeks the Koala Clancy Foundation was planting out I think 50 or 100 hectares with thousands and thousands of trees. Its a fantastic contribution to try to create habitat for koalas. … I think of all the wonderful work that groups around the country like the Koala Clancy Foundation are doing, and meanwhile our precious native forest, home to koalas and such a diverse range of other species, is continuing to be destroyed by logging and by clearing.”Senator Janet Rice (VICTORIA)
Sarah Mansfield has just been elected to Victorian State Legislative Council (upper house) as a representative for Western Victoria.
Two newspaper front cover articles, & radio!
We were also interviewed by Rachael Brown for ABC Radio National’s Background Briefing about koalas, which aired Australia-wide on 3 July. Listen here: https://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/backgroundbriefing/will-any-koalas-be-left-in-australias-east-by-2050/13953818
Thankyou to all our members, volunteers, donors, property owners, partners and suppliers for your support through 2022. We are constantly astonished by your generosity and determination to make a difference for the koalas of the You Yangs and Western Plains. We will continue to do our utmost.
Wishing you, and the wildlife you love, a year of profound, lasting, positive change.