Our achievements as a small local koala charity continued to gain momentum in 2023. Koala Clancy Foundation made significant developments for koalas and the future: through tree planting, weed removal, research collaborations, community engagement and advocacy.
Credit to the dedicated community that joined us in this adventure. From local landowners, to members who give up their weekend to join us, and donors supporting us from all over the globe, our community has always been the heartbeat of our achievements. To anyone who has supported Koala Clancy Foundation in 2023, our success this year is a testament to your commitment and passion.
Here are some of our biggest achievements for 2023, all in one place for some reading that will lift your spirits.
Tree planting for wild koalas
The 2023 tree planting season is one of our proudest accomplishments. In our short, three month planting season*, our amazing community came together and planted:
- 33,518 koala trees total
- 10,663 koala trees on one site in one season
- 1,931 koala trees in one day
- 3,618 koala trees in one weekend
- 5,891 koala trees in 7 days
These huge achievements were made possible by the 334 community members who participated in our planting days. From Saturdays or Sundays with our community participants, to frosty weekday mornings with corporate groups spending a day out of the office, every person who joined a tree planting event contributed to the future forests that our koalas will call home.
Our total number of trees planted for wild koalas is now 129,697.
*our tree planting season is short: the winter months of June, July and August are the only safe time to plant trees in our region. There is (usually) enough moisture in the soil at that time, and the trees have 4-6months to get their roots established before summer bakes and fries them.
Weeding in the You Yangs
The boneseed weed infestation continues to destroy koala habitat in the You Yangs. In 2023 many more community, corporate, and school groups joined us for weeding events to restore the habitat in infested areas.
Across six weeding events with a total of 145 participants we removed 209,300 boneseed weeds.
Click here to take a look at the invasive boneseed plant in the You Yangs.
In 2023 Koala Clancy Foundation collaborated on three scientific papers with the University of Sydney specific to koalas. We look forward to sharing more information about this research upon publication of the papers.
Koala Clancy Foundation also launched our own koala monitoring program using Audiomoth recording devices to track the presence of koalas at our tree planting sites. This program was made possible by the generous support of the International Fund for Animal Welfare IFAW and will help us understand koala population numbers in the region into the future.
Community and Member Engagement
This has been a year of growth for the Koala Clancy community. We had a total of 727 participants join us across 38 events, all of which contributed directly to the conservation of our koala population.
We expanded our Members Program, introducing several special member-only events such as exclusive tree planting days, weekday behind-the-scenes events, research involvement opportunities, audio monitoring and possum soft-release. By showing up, reliably and often, our members ensured that our time was spent effectively doing what we most need to do: preparing for tree planting days. To sign up as a Koala Clancy Foundation member today, click here.
Saving koalas has many facets, from liaising with decision-makers, to helping prepare tree planting sites for koalas to colonise. These other projects are important to our mission.
In 2023, Koala Clancy Foundation President, Janine Duffy, joined the National Koala Recovery Team Community Advisory Committee – a federal government body. She also attended the National Koala Conference at Port Macquarie in May as a guest of IFAW. At this conference we received an acknowledgment by Dr Valentina Mella in her keynote presentation on Day 1. Janine also gave presentations at the National Gallery of Victoria, for City of Greater Geelong and Macedon Ranges council, and for community groups all over our region.
We facilitated the soft-release of 12 orphaned Common Ringtail Possums at our tree planting project sites and continued to remove tree guards from 5 of these sites to be recycled or reused in 2024.
Koala News & Science, the monthly newsletter by Janine Duffy reached 389 subscribers this year. The newsletter provides an update on the latest koala science and important, and positive news from koala groups all over Australia. Subscribe here.
We were engaged for the 2nd year as expert tree planting consultants for a huge event at Victoria University.
Koala Clancy Foundation appeared on media including the ABC News, Geelong Advertiser, Herald Sun, 3AW, 3RRR, and WIN News.
Over the last few months, Koala Clancy Foundation has been working closely with Boomaroo Nurseries in Lara on a special collaboration. We’re now growing a large proportion of our plants at Boomaroo. The Koala Clancy Nursery is small and can only grow 10,000 plants, but Boomaroo has offered their support, expertise and growing space and together we’ve completely reshaped our approach for the 2024 tree planting season. This is a big and exciting change, and it’s been made entirely possible by the initiative and generous support from Boomaroo Nurseries. We look forward to sharing more information about this partnership in the future.
Koalas have been moving around a lot, we think due to the good wet weather making more habitat available to them. Koalas have been found high in the hills in the You Yangs, in places they haven’t been seen for years. This is good news.
We’ve found lots of new koalas in the You Yangs, and some old friends. Ngardang, Djadja, Mear and Wemba are all doing well, but KiKi and Kozo seem to have left the area. Gulkurguli is still dominant male at Branding Yard, Jandamarra and Yanabil are still around, but Mabo has left.
KiKi’s joey Mimi and Ngardang’s joey Kallama have both grown up and are now being seen regularly as adults.
Goora had a joey this year again, and Babarrang has just been found with a joey as well! Kalina was also found with a new joey, at Serendip! Thanks Ruth for letting us know.
We haven’t seen Winberry since he showed up on our planting site in 2022. We hope he is safe and well in a new home somewhere, even if its the big gum tree in the sky.
Our conservation efforts in 2023 have been an enormous achievement for koalas and we want to thank everybody who has supported us in the last 12 months. We have big plans for 2024 and can’t wait to see what next year will bring for our koalas and community.
Your support in the new year is more important than ever as our koalas prepare to endure a hot summer – click here to buy a raffle ticket in our end-of-year fundraiser, or click here to donate. Every dollar goes directly toward creating a future with koalas in it.