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Connections and Connectivity

July 29, 2011

Connections between patches of koala habitat

As discussed in the post of July 23, fragmentation of koala habitat is a huge problem for koalas. To reduce stress for koalas, the patches of koala habitat must be large enough, and there must be functional connectivity between these patches.

 

It has been suggested that the patches of bushland need to at least 50 hectares in area for koalas to live healthily. The connections, or corridors of bushland that will allow for the safe movement of koalas from one patch of bushland to the other, need to be quite substantial – at least 50 metres wide. By planning with koalas’ requirements in mind, this network of patches and corridors of bushland will lead to more balanced landscape ecologies – very special and beautiful places where humans can live and koalas can live.

 

We can recreate corridors in existing suburbs by replanting. To do so, the right koala food tree species must be selected for the area. In existing built up urban areas, and where there is absolutely no way to recreate corridors between koala populations, humans will have to monitor and manage koala populations by translocating koalas from one patch to another, ensuring that no inbreeding occurs and that gene pools are mixed. Translocation of koalas is already occurring on the Koala Coast and other regions where patches of koala habitat have become disconnected. Koala Land’s view is that translocation is an absolute last resort solution to save koalas, and that it should only happen in areas where koala habitats have already been destroyed.

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