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Thousands more trees for Cape Otway koalas

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The future of koalas on Cape Otway is looking brighter thanks to the collaborative approach which is improving their habitat.

Since 2014, the Conservation Ecology Centre has led a team of partners including, the CFA (Country Fire Authority), the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, and the Southern Otway Landcare Network who have been working together to help improve the lives of the Cape Otway koalas, and the whole Cape Otway ecosystem. And we’re starting to see promising results with the habitat recovering and more sustainable numbers of koalas.

Over the weekend of 17 and 18 June, over 70 volunteers pitched in and planted close to 5,000 new koala habitat trees on private property on Cape Otway as a part of the Big Otway Tree Plant 2017.

This area had been burned by the CFA in preparation to receive new manna gums (the koala’s favourite food) as well as messmates, blackwoods and casuarinas.

The usually fickle weather of Cape Otway held off, it was a stunning day on Saturday, with volunteers only getting wet in one rain-shower late on Sunday, which will help createa great start for the new seedlings.

Volunteers of all ages came from Geelong, Melbourne and the local area to help out.

Whilst there were many first-time tree-planters, they were able to learn plenty from the more experienced including the Deakin Enviro Club, University of Melbourne horticulture students, Conservation and Land Management students from Gordon TAFE and members of the local Green Army crew.

“The trees that were planted over the weekend are the habitat of the future for the koalas of Cape Otway and we thank all the volunteers who gave their time ever so much for all their great work,” said Lizzie Corke, Conservation Ecology Centre CEO.

The project is supported by the Foundation for National Parks and Wildlife and Zoos Miami.