CQUniversity Researchers Call for Survey Participants in Koala Conservation Efforts

15 December 2022
Koalas are an Aussie icon' but how much do we really know about them in terms of where and how they live?
To help understand the beloved creature better and improve their survival outcomes' CQUniversity researchers Drs Rolf Schlagloth and Brad Smith and their team are conducting a survey in Central Queensland (CQ) and calling on residents to participate.

Dr Schlagloth said that little was known about the distribution and conservation status of the koala in different parts of CQ' albeit individuals facing similar threats to those in other parts of Queensland.

"While we are mindful of different threats koalas face in various areas of CQ' there are also large tracts of potential koala habitat across the region where we know very little about the species'" Dr Schlagloth explained.

The survey forms part of a broader project that is being conducted by researchers from Koala Research-CQ based at CQUniversity and will look at the status of koalas in Central Queensland: where they currently are' where they were in the past' and how members of the community can be involved in their conservation.

"The survey will help us to gauge community understanding of the species and to build awareness and better protection strategies for the species" explained Dr Brad Smith.

"What we don't know is how the CQ community values koalas' how they fit within these communities' and what conservation efforts would be supported by community members'" Dr Schlagloth said.

"To be able to design appropriate conservation strategies for the endangered koala' it is vitally important for us to establish where they currently are in CQ and where they have been seen in the past."

Residents living in Mackay' Gladstone' Rockhampton and surrounding Central Highlands in Emerald and Longreach can participate in the survey' as well as residents in rural towns across North Burnett' the Bowen Basin Coalfields and remote outback towns as far as Birdsville and the Queensland border.

Dr Schlagloth said he and his research team were keen to hear from landholders who would be willing to give them access to koalas on their properties to collect droppings (scats) for analysis of health determinants.

"We are also interested in hearing and recording landholders' stories about their own' or their families' interactions with' and historical anecdotes of' koalas."

To find out more and take part in the study please visit the survey page.

Upon completion of the quick anonymous survey' participants can opt to go in the draw to win one of five $100 gift vouchers.