Project: You Yangs Little River Koala Link

koala link little river you yangs


A once-in-a-lifetime chance to create the shortest, safest path for koalas to escape to new fertile, cool habitat that will protect them from climate change. These trees could be used by koalas in just 2 years.

Janine Duffy, President Koala Clancy Foundation

Location: Little River, west of Melbourne, east of the You Yangs

Status: Confirmed

Total project cost: $28,000

UPDATE: We are fortunate to have a big partner interested in funding ~50% of this project. Our wonderful community have already pledged over $17500, which has exceeded our minimum target. Donate here.

Thankyou to our most significant project donors:

Zdraveski Charitable Fund 3, a Charitable Fund Account of Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation:

Rotary Club of Kardinia:

The Stirling Family

Corey Loader & the Loader Family

Koala Hash Club:

Number of trees/shrubs: 2800

Size of planting site: 3.61 hectares



To join the You Yangs to the Little River at its closest point, so that koalas can start to colonise new, fertile and cool habitat along the Little River.

Once koalas get to the river, they can feast on 8km of trees we’ve planted since 2017, and on some huge old trees that have been preserved over generations.

Currently, this stretch of the Little River is not able to support even one single koala
This is what this stretch of Little River will look like after planting.

What species will we plant:

Note: species shown in bold are the dominant plants that we will plant in high proportion. The site is riverbank and rocky slopes.

Silver Wattle Acacia dealbata
Late Black Wattle Acacia mearnsii
Blackwood Acacia melanoxylon
River Red Gum Eucalyptus camaldulensis
Yellow Gum E. leucoxylon ssp connata
Yellow Box E. melliodora
Grey Box E. microcarpa
Red Box E. polyanthemos
Lightwood Acacia implexa
Black Sheoak Allocasuarina littoralis
Drooping Sheoak Allocasuarina verticillata
Silver Banksia Banksia marginata
Sweet Bursaria Bursaria spinosa
River Bottlebrush Callistemon sieberi
Giant Hop Bush Dodonea viscosa
Tree Violet Melicytus dentatus
Gold-dust Wattle Acacia acinacea
Berry Saltbush Atriplex semibaccata
Golden Daisy Brachyscome dentata
Cut-leaf Daisy Brachyscome multifida
Basalt Daisy Brachyscome basaltica
Lemon Beauty Heads Calocephalus citreus.
Common Everlasting Chrysocephalum apiculatum
Clustered Everlasting Chrysocephalum semipapposum
Ruby Saltbush Enchylaena tomentosa
Spreading Eutaxia Eutaxia microphylla var diffusa
Hop Goodenia Goodenia ovata
Rosemary Grevillea Grevillea rosmarinifolia
Scaly Buttons Leptorhychos squamatus
Twiggy Daisy-bush Olearia ramulosa
Tree Everlasting Ozothamnus ferrugineus
Woolly New Holland Daisy Vittadinia gracilis
Spiny-head mat-rush Lomandra longifolia

This very old River Red Gum on the site will benefit from our planting – solitary remnant trees come under enormous pressure.

What & who will benefit?

In the You Yangs we have 100 – 120 healthy wild koalas who desperately need to get out. Their forest is on the top of dry hills, and each year more and more trees die due to drought and heat caused by global heating. When trees die, koalas die – if they can’t find new habitat to go to.

Project site map

This project will create the shortest, most direct route for koalas to travel to wetter, safer habitat on the Little River. The distance is so short – 2.6km – that some of the older koalas might even use it annually to move back and forth to the river in summer, and into their old home in the hills in winter.

In addition, vulnerable grassy woodland birds like Jacky Winter, Diamond Firetail and Little Eagle, and endangered Glossy Grass Skink and Tussock Skink will benefit from the restoration of this ecosystem.

What’s exciting about this:

This unique project will provide a climate change refuge for our koalas. By planting a corridor at the closest point between the You Yangs and the Little River, and also planting a broad koala habitat on the riverbanks, our healthy koalas can migrate safely to this new fertile, cool habitat on the Little River. These trees could be used by our koalas in just 2 years.

Part of the Little River currently on the site. This was once an extensive River Red Gum forest. Over time the forest was reduced to a few trees, but they don’t do well on their own – their remains can still be seen.

Opportunities are available to become involved with this project as a funding partner or volunteer. A funding campaign will begin in mid March and will be advertised on the home page. Planting opportunities will be advertised on our Events page.

See and track this project, calculate the carbon storage potential, see changes in tree cover and other environmental data on the global environmental restoration platform Restor.

Thanks to the following organisations who have donated generously to make this project happen:

Zdraveski Charitable Fund 3, a Charitable Fund Account of Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation:

Rotary Club of Kardinia:

Koala Hash Club:

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