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Research sites

Ecology and Management of Central Queensland's koala islands

Location: St Bees Island, Brampton Island, Rabbit and Newry islands. The study area is primarily focused on St Bees (20o 55' 14.12", 149o 26' 32.50") and Brampton (20o 48" 34.73", 149o 16' 27.64") islands in the South Cumberland Islands and Brampton Islands national parks north east of Mackay in Central Queensland. Secondary study areas have been established on the nearby Rabbit and Newry islands (20o 51' 24.20", 148o 54' 57.80") north of Mackay and in the Newry Island National Park.

Summary: This long term study commenced in 1998. It is a multidisciplinary research program involving community, universities, state government agencies and international interests. Areas of research interest include: structure and dynamics of koala habitat; koala ranging behaviour, habitat utilization and diet; demography, population dynamics and social interaction; genetics and disease profiles.

Contacts: CQUniversity Dr Alistair Melzer (a.melzer@cqu.edu.au); University of Queensland Dr William Ellis (w.ellis@uq.edu.au), Dr Sean Fitzgibbon (s.fitzgibbon@uq.edu.au)

Understanding the ecology of over-abundant koala populations

Location: Great Otway National Park, Victoria, and adjacent private lands. The study is centred on private and public lands around Bimbi Caravan park (38o 49' 59.44", 143o 30' 42.57").

Summary: This is a study lead by Dr Desley Whisson, Deakin University. Here the fate of an overabundant koala population and the associated habitat are being followed over time. Areas of research interest include: structure and dynamics of koala habitat; koala ranging behaviour, habitat utilization; demography, population dynamics and social interactions.

Contacts: Deakin University: Dr Desley Whisson (desley.whisson@deakin.edu.au); CQUniversity Dr Alistair Melzer (a.melzer@cqu.edu.au)

Koala mortality black-spots on regional highways

Location: Midland Highway, between the City of Ballarat (37o 33' 35", 143o 51' 21”) and the township of Meredith (37o 50' 29”, 144o 04' 39"on the way to Geelong), Victoria. The study area is focused on two sections, the 48 km stretch of highway between Ballarat and Meredith and a 2 km stretch of the same road just before Meredith. The study site includes 5 km on both sides of the highway.

Summary: This study analyses data collected from local wildlife carers on sick and injured koalas to determine the significance to the local koala population of collision with vehicles It further looks at koala road kills along the highway, attempts to identify koala road kill black-spots and ultimately aims at developing a model to determine the parameters that are most significant in the formation of these black-spots. A koala population at one black-spot is radio-tracked for 6 months; here koala ranging behaviour, habitat utilization and diet, as well as koala interactions with the road corridor, are investigated.

Contacts: CQUniversity: Rolf Schlagloth (r.schlagloth@cqu.edu.au)