Saturday, July 30, 2011

CANBERRA'S KOALAS


It is interesting to note that Canberra has no Koala Bears. Sad but true, but up until the end of the 19th century (Federation) they were apparently quite plentiful. And then they disappeared, like the Rock Wallaby (locally extinct since the 1950's) after it . Sought after for their skins both were condemned to becoming an historical curiosity. Put simply they were hunted to local extinction.

Having said that Canberra since 1939 has been home to a small population of Koalas imported originally from Victoria and in recent years South Australia. Located at the Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve, today I believe this population, having received two new residents, now numbers 9.

These two news clippings lamented the loss of the marsupial bear locally 30-40 years prior, about 1900-1910. I think we can be pretty specific about the generations to blame...

The Canberra Times - Tuesday 25 July 1939



The Courier-Mail - Tuesday 25 July 1939



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3 comments:

  1. It does not make sense to kill an income completely. One should never hunt an area out. I can only assume there were too many hunters in the one area, but it is still not sensible. Good to hear there are some breeding now, but it will be a slow process to get the numbers back.
    Keith.
    http://woodsrunnersdiary.blogspot.com/

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  2. I doubt they will ever recover Keith and I don't think there are any plans to re-establish them. Shame really when I read of Kangaroo Island being over-populated.

    Perfect habitat but I am afraid in the ACT any not kept in an enclosure would soon become prey (when on the ground) to wild dogs. Dogs are a more prevalent problem than is officially acknowledged as time goes on.

    I know we have talked about the situation before. Only this week I heard of another sighting in Namadgi.

    To be honest responsible shooters should be allowed under permit, and park closures if need be, to hunt these feral pests to local extinction. Blackpowder, Cordite, .303, trap, snare and bait... Whatever it takes.

    Primarily before a park visitor is injured or killed and secondly to perhaps then seriously think about re-establishing a Koala Population in what is a perfect habitat.

    Cheers Dave.

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  3. PLEASE Dave do NOT call them BEARS !!!!!

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