Keeping KI’s koalas under control
29 July 2013
Natural Resources Kangaroo Island expresses its appreciation to landholders for providing the KI Koala Management Program team access to their properties. This assistance has contributed to the program’s significant achievements over the last 12 months including:
- 413 female koalas sterilised
- 500 Eucalypts planted at Grassdale lagoon
- 15 tree collars installed
- 34 sites monitored for Koala density and tree condition.
These achievements help to reduce the threat to Kangaroo Island’s native habitat by limiting the growth in Koala numbers, and help to restore habitat lost through overbrowsing.
Koalas are not native to Kangaroo Island and were introduced from Victoria in the 1920s. The Koala Management Program was established in 1996 by the Department of Environment and Heritage to prevent the loss of habitat through koala overbrowsing. Since then more than 14,000 koalas have been sterilised: 3,800 of which have been moved off the island back to their original habitat near Mount Gambier.
Since the program began, koala numbers have declined from 27,000 in 2000 to 13,000 in 2010. Monitoring of koala densities and tree condition is undertaken annually to determine the effectiveness of the program and to locate priority areas for management.
It is now critical to continue maintenance sterilisation of a small proportion of the population to ensure numbers do not increase again and to protect habitats, especially along rivers. To achieve this, the next Koala catch season will begin in early November and continue for four months over summer.
If anyone has noticed severe overbrowsing impacts on their property or would like more information on the program please contact Natural Resources Centre Kangaroo Island