$4.5m Koala Habitat Restoration Project Kicks off in CQ

Central Queensland’s Natural Resource Management organisation, Fitzroy Basin Association (FBA), has been awarded $4.5 million from the Australian Government Saving Koalas Fund to restore and protect koala habitat in areas east of Nebo and Clarke Creek in the Clarke-Connors Range.

The Clarke-Connors Range is one of the largest wilderness areas in Queensland and one of the most significant koala populations in regional Queensland. The project will deliver weed control to reduce fire risk, improve koala movement and promote the growth of native species. Regional stakeholders, including land managers, local and state government, and First Nations People, will be involved in the two-year program.

Uniquely positioned to leverage the efforts and momentum created by a smaller FBA-led koala project in 2022-2023, the project will focus on priority areas where there is known quality koala habitat.

The success of the project relies on local land managers (predominantly graziers and agriculture producers) wiliness to adopt management techniques an install infrastructure that protects or restores koala habitat. Well versed at balancing sustainability and production outcomes for CQ growers and graziers, FBA’s environmental and agricultural team will work together to find the best solutions for land managers and koalas.

Koalas are listed nationally as endangered in Queensland, NSW and the ACT. The species is in serious decline suffering from the effects of bushfires, road accidents, dog attacks and habitat destruction. The project will work to reduce bushfire and habitat threats and restore habitat for the protection and longevity of the Clarke-Connors koala population.

Dr Mark Shultz is a highly specialised and regarded ecologist and is leading the project in collaboration with other members of FBA’s team and stakeholders.

“FBA has been working in the Clarke-Connors Range for a few years to gain an understanding of the area’s koala population and koala habitat. To do this we have worked closely with passionate and enthusiastic land managers and a local koala advisory group. This project is a fantastic opportunity to action identified priority work and collaborate with more graziers who are keen to improve the health of their local environment for their business and koalas,” said Mark.

“Queensland’s koala population relies on the condition of the creatures and habitat in the Clarke-Connors Range. Proactive work to keep this population healthy and thriving is essential in conserving the species. FBA is proud to have been awarded funds from the Australian Government’s Saving Koalas Fund to carry out this important work,” Mark continued. Work on the project has started and will continue until June 2024. Since 2022, $5.5m has been committed to koala conservation work in the Clarke-Connors Range.