‘Corridor’ to lead the way for koalas


A map of the Somers revegetation area: Properties within the yellow marked areas will receive free koala food trees, native plants, ecologist advice, equipment, volunteers on the day of planting and ongoing support. Image: Supplied

SOMERS residents are being asked to plant trees to help koalas thrive on the Mornington Peninsula.

They will join Mornington Peninsula Koala Conservation group and Mornington Peninsula Shire in growing a corridor of trees so koalas can move safely around Somers and beyond.

The project will provide more food trees for koalas (manna gum, swamp gum and narrow-leaf peppermint), increase canopy cover for protection from the weather, increase habitats to support breeding populations, and improve ground cover to keep koalas safe from predators as they move between trees.

Somers residents who own properties identified as part of the safe corridor have been asked to plant koala food trees and provenance plants.

Mornington Peninsula Koala Conservation president Dirk Jansen said over the past 30 years there had been a major decline in native animal species on the peninsula due to habitat loss, invasive flora and predation by foxes and cats.

He said most native vegetation was found on private land, which made up 75 per cent of the peninsula.

“Incremental clearing of remnant native vegetation due to development and land use has caused isolation of faunal populations,” he said. “Landscape fragmentation, the lack of tree cover and habitat corridors are of most concern.”

The biolink project aims to provide koala habitat linking Coolart Wetlands to the west, Koala Reserve to the south and HMAS Cerberus to the east, adding to the wildlife corridor from Somers to Red Hill.

Details: mpkoalas.org.au/projects/somers-koala-habitat-project-2021/

First published in the Western Port News – 4 November 2020


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