There’s no doubt that the Gunnedah shire loves its koalas. It has in fact built its identity on its love of the koala, with the much-touted catch-cry of ‘Koala capital of the world’ borne as a banner of pride in previous years.
People come from all over the world to see Australia’s koalas, to interact with our national icon. They share photos of themselves with koalas on their Facebook pages, their Instagram accounts, their Twitter feed. But what they might not know is that koalas are actually an endangered species. That the situation is not cute and cosy at all.
Sadly, our koala population is at risk from many factors including urban expansion, housing development, the deadly infection chlamydia, bush fires and dehydration. But what are we doing about it?
The Namoi Valley Independent has been part of the move to look after Gunnedah’s koalas in partnership with other Gunnedah individuals and groups including Gunnedah Urban Landcare Group (GULG), North West Local Land Services and WIRES. Gunnedah’s Project Koala activities have included tree giveaways and raising awareness.
GULG is a small group of volunteers battling to save our koalas. In recent weeks alone, members have installed Blinky Drinkers (water drinkers designed specifically for koalas) in the area and caution signs at koala hot spots to warn drivers to drive mindfully.
This passionate, dedicated group is looking for people in our community who are willing to join the fight to preserve our unique animal. People who are willing to offer some of their time to save our koalas.
GULG is holding a meeting on Wednesday night at 6pm at the Gunnedah Services and Bowling Club to discuss the Gunnedah Koala Conservation Plan for Landcare and Community Groups.
GULG need our support. They need our input. In the past week, GULG member Rod Browne told the Namoi Valley Independent that the group cannot tackle this ongoing issue on its own.
The truth is that if we don’t act, our koalas may not be here for the generations to come.
We can’t let this come to pass. It’s time to be proactive and find out what we can do in our community to help save this precious species.
To find out more about the Gunnedah Urban Landcare Group or to join, phone 0427 007 826 or email firstname.lastname@example.org