Habitat Connections - Koalas and people living together. Mark Gerada
A few weeks ago I was honoured to be invited as the keynote speaker at the 2011 Zoo and Aquarium Association Queensland annual conference in Yeppoon.
Speaking on November 3, my keynote covered a background to the Koala Land project, the relationship between community and social networking strategies, considering new ways of thinking about the value of land and the importance of communities, and early schematics for future planning approaches.
It was great to share ideas and learn from the work other people are doing with endangered species. Highlights from the conference included James Biggs (Cairns Tropical Zoo) talking about Cassowary Recovery, Tina Janssen talking about her work with Southern Hairy Nosed Wombats, Doctors Jean Marc-hero and Edward Narayan(Griffith University) talking about monitoring the stress levels of the Greater Bilby, Doctor Alan Horsup (Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service) talking about his work with Northern Hairy Nosed Wombats, and Adam Pollard (Tiger Island, Dreamworld) talking about patrolling endangered Siberian Tigers in Far East Russia. Although the needs of endangered species varies from case to case, it was the commonalities that really struck me and taught about how to further pursue the koala’s cause, especially misconceptions from a community/industry/agriculture/government point of view, and the need to educate and form better relationships between these different sectors of society.