MOTORISTS on the Mornington Peninsula are being reminded to be aware that more wildlife will be on the roads throughout the spring breeding season.
The warning follows the death and injury of several koalas on the roads in recent weeks.
The Mornington Peninsula Koala Conservation group has documented recent incidents involving koalas struck by traffic in Somers, Hastings, Tyabb, Mount Eliza, Shoreham and Rosebud.
The group is calling on motorists to be wary of animals being on the roads, and to report any incidents at mpkoalas.org.au
Volunteers from the koala group have been planting trees and habitat corridors for koalas since 2019 with the help of the Mornington Peninsula Landcare Network, in a bid to preserve the peninsula’s dwindling koala population.
The group has planted 24,000 plants this year and before a 500-tree planting day in Range Road, Mount Martha, last Thursday (5 October), was 1000 off its target of 25,000.
Co-founder Dirk Jansen said the target would not have been possible without the public’s help.
Meanwhile, Western Port Biosphere, which is part of UNESCO’s World Network of Biosphere Reserves, runs a koala awareness program to try to better understand its populations across its five member councils: Mornington Peninsula, Frankston, Casey, Cardinia and Bass Coast.
One of the biosphere’s projects – the Tyabb to Tooradin biolink – will aim to link remnant koala habitat across local private and public properties with suitable habitat.
It is scheduled to start in May 2024, and will help increase the area’s biodiversity and the safer movement of wildlife, particularly koalas.
The Western Port Biosphere Reserve is one of Australia’s five biosphere reserves and part of a global network of 748 reserves in 134 countries.