Inspired by the work of the Australian Koala Foundation, primary school children came together to plant a Koala habitat near Mount Warrenheip last month.
The mountain, located nine kilometres east of Ballarat, has made headlines in recent years after a history of land clearing left the area an isolated Koala danger zone. Intersected by highways and subdivisions, Koalas and other wildlife species find it very difficult to disperse from Mount Warrenheip and nearby Mount Buninyong without the protection of trees.
AKF’s former Koala liaison officer, Mr Rolf Schlagloth, previously initiated an eight year program which worked with various council bodies to develop a ‘Koala Plan of Management’ and restore Mount Warrenheip’s deteriorating Koala habitat.
In 2010, Mr Schlagloth had grave concerns for Koalas on Mount Warrenheip which he said was isolated and dying.
"For me it's a bit like taking a child and locking them in a lolly shop and then throwing the key away and saying to the child: do not eat the lollies. You cannot lock a Koala on an island with eucalypt vegetation and expect the Koala not to eat the vegetation." Mr Schlagloth said.
To turn this crisis around Mr Schlagloth knew the people of Ballarat had to get involved. He dedicated his time to educate and inspire the public with over 100 presentations to schools, land owners, and community groups encouraging them to plant trees for corridors – helping to rebuild the Koala habitat on the mountain and ensure their future survival.
Eve, from the Ballarat community, was inspired by the work of the AKF and Mr Schlagloth to make a difference in the future of Koala populations in her local area. Since hearing about the plight of the Koala she has spent the last 12 months doing her own research and embarking on an education project of her own.
The AKF was delighted to hear from Eve last month and see local school children planting trees in support of the Koalas at Mount Warrenheip. Many other Koala populations are also surviving in remnant areas of poor habitat as land is increasingly cleared for farming and residential purposes. Restoration and expansion of primary habitat is the goal of AKF’s tree planting program. You can support our tree planting program here.