Earlier this year, the team had a surprise visitor when a koala found its way to the edge of the site during construction of the University of Sunshine Coast Foundation Building.
Somehow, the koala managed to get through the safety fence and made his way towards the construction area. Foreman Andrew Fyfe, who spotted the koala, acted quickly to get him to safety.
“It’s not something that would normally happen.” says Site Manager Grant Acres. “Andrew calmed the little fella while we rang to have him rescued.”
As the koala was fitted with an ear tag, a GPS enabled tracking collar and an anklet, Andrew knew straight away that the koala was part of the onsite koala management program and a field officer was called immediately. Within 10 minutes, the koala had received a quick health check and was on his way to the Endeavour Veterinary Ecology (EVE) clinic for a more thorough health exam.
Despite some mild dehydration, the koala was found to be in good health and after 48 hours observation at the clinic, was released back into his usual habitat at The Mill at Moreton Bay. Increased monitoring since this interaction has shown the koala continues to be in good health.
This koala is just one of 87 koalas being monitored by EVE as part of Moreton Bay Regional Council’s koala monitoring program for the site. The koala monitoring program was implemented in 2017 to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of the onsite koala population throughout the construction process. Once they reach approximately 12 months of age, koalas on the site are fitted with telemetry devices for monitoring purposes and undergo regular health checks.
“We are also obtaining vital scientific data on the local population that helps us understand the dynamics of these koalas and to help inform development decisions in the area,” says Bree Wilson, EVE’s Field Operations Manager.
In addition to monitoring the health of the local koala population, Moreton Bay Regional Council has installed wildlife movement infrastructure between The Mill and Wyllie Park to assist koalas and other wildlife to move safely throughout this area
If you see a koala on the ground, contact your local rescue group for help. Keep an eye on the animal rather than touching it to avoid serious injury or risk stressing the animal further. Rescue groups for the Moreton Bay region are listed below.
Local wildlife rescue groups, such as Moreton Bay Koala Rescue and Pine Rivers Koala Care, provide essential services in rescuing and caring for native wildlife. To find out how you can help or for more about koala conservation, contact the Moreton Bay Regional Council, or check out their website.