Habitat corridor proposed to save koalas

·1-min read

A conservation corridor of more than 2,500 kilometres of connected land would help koalas and other animals 'traverse through the bush unthreatened', a new plan from the Australian Koala Foundation proposes.

The Koala Kiss Project is a plan to plot and eventually connect 'kiss points', locations where intact sections of koala habitat come close to each other but still remain separated by divisions of cleared land, across 2,543 kilometres of prime koala habitat.

NSW Energy and Environment Minister Matt Kean has set a goal of doubling the number of koalas by 2050 to prevent the marsupial's extinction. But the foundation's chair Deborah Tabart asks: "where would he even know where to put these koalas?"

She said the foundation has already invested millions of dollars over 23 years to develop its Koala Habitat Atlas, which maps the species' habitat range and now they just needed to identify the kiss points.

"If you're a koala and you live in the Blue Mountains and you want to go north, say to Dorrigo, you can't go far before you hit a big obstacle, either a road or a big cleared paddock," Ms Tabart told AAP.

She said the points for safe passage needed to be substantial and "more than a tree wide".

The koala is one of more than 1,700 species and ecological communities that are known to be threatened and at risk of extinction in Australia.

"If you protect the koala forests of Australia you protect other species," Ms Tabart said.

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