To support Northern New South Wales’ rapidly declining Koala population, the Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife (FNPW) awarded a grant to Friends of the Koala Inc to expand its East Lismore nursery by 80,000 trees for the food and shelter of Australia’s koala population.
The grant awarded to Friends of the Koala Inc. will extend the capacity of its current nursery to plant a total of 100,000 trees per year. This will be a major step in supporting the recovery of New South Wales’ North Coast and the Gondwana Rainforest World Heritage Area, of which 50% was devastated by the fires, destroying the habitats of thousands of native animals. Tree species’ planted will include the Forest Red Gum, Tallowood, Swamp Mahogany, Grey Gum, Grey Ironbark, Flooded Gum and Brush Box.
Operating for over 35 years, Friends of the Koala Inc. has an established history conserving, enhancing and preserving the Koala population and their habitat. Alongside the native plant nursery, the group operates a Koala Hospital in East Lismore and works to rescue, rehabilitate and release koalas back into the wild.
Mark Wilson, the Friends of the Koala Nursery Manager, said that this grant will enhance his team’s commitment to creating a more continuous corridor of food and shelter for koalas, particularly in the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales.
“The support of the Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife has meant that we are now a step ahead in our mission to protect NSW’s declining koala population. The Black Summer was the worst environmental disaster witnessed in history, killing or displacing three billion animals, so it’s our first priority to start rebuilding habitats to protect our beloved native wildlife.”
Ian Darbyshire, CEO of FNPW, said: “Friends of the Koala will play a significant role in restoring Australia’s biodiversity and our mission of planting one million trees in bushfire affected regions around Australia. This will be an integral step in supporting NSW’s koala population of which a third was severely affected. It is thanks to our partners, L’OCCITANE and One Tree Planted that grants such as this can continue to be awarded to restore our native flora and fauna.”
FNPW would like to thank global reforestation non-profit, One Tree Planted, French beauty brand, L’OCCITANE and Southern Cross University for their contribution to the Friends of the Koala Bushfire Recovery Nursery.