Katrina has been restoring koala habitat on her property, Koala Gardens at Tuckurimba, for the past 5 years. The response she has observed is astounding.
"This is no longer where I live, this is how I live.
In 2010, my late husband and I found ourselves custodians of this seriously beautiful piece of land to the south of Lismore. We knew we had found paradise.
Yet as I look back at photos of how things were, I realise it looked dead compared to the teeming life it supports now.
In 2015, I secured funding through the 25th Anniversary Landcare Grants and had a professional property management plan developed. This was the real key to success. It provided the blueprint for my professional regeneration team to re-establish a healthy ecosystem.
We planted 1,000 trees through funded projects, and 3,000 trees have regenerated naturally from the mature forest red gums and pink bloodwoods.
The land now teems with a host of birds, reptiles and insects, as well as koalas. Swamp wallabies love the dense habitat too.
I record daily data on the koala colony, identifying each animal by its nose pattern. I take note of pouch- and back-young.
The results today are astounding. In 2015, there might have been only a dozen koala sightings in the month. April 2017 saw the count top 100. March 2019 is a new record with 174 sightings of 12 individual koalas. Three of these are mature females with joeys in pouch.
When I had the property assessed for our conservation covenant, we identified habitat for 14 threatened species. We have already seen five of these species on the property including koala, hairy joint grass, little lorikeet, wompoo fruit dove and squirrel glider. All of this on only 5.6 hectares!
I have learned a lot about koalas and their issues while volunteering with Friends of the Koala in Lismore. I am passionate about observing and documenting koala behaviour and their response to habitat regeneration. I’ll talk anything koala all day long.”