The Mary Valley Rail Trail Habitat Link will provide habitat for a range of native flora and fauna, including Koalas, which recently have been declared by the Australian Government as Vulnerable. There may now only be as few as 50,000 Koalas left in the wild, which is extremely concerning as the koala is an important part of Australia’s natural and cultural heritage. The good news is there is much we can all do for the survival of koalas in the wild, so FNPW have given the Koala Action Gympie Region (KAGR) a Community Conservation Grant to restore and stabilise the degraded Koala habitat.
This project was funded through an FNPW Community Conservation Grant. These grants are supported by the generous donations from FNPW supporters across Australia and beyond.
Grant round: Community Conservation Grants – 2021
The Habitat Link has major support from the local community, such as businesses, volunteers, and schools. The large community involvement through the planning, site preparation, planting, maintenance and associated education experiences will not only educate youth on the importance of caring for country, but teach them specific methods on how to protect Australia’s natural habitat to ensure the survival of the beloved Koala species.
It is the goal of the Koala Action Group Gympie to:
– Engage with the community in contributing observations on Gympie region’s koala population to better understand and help the species,
– Increase public awareness of koalas as a vulnerable species through education and community engagement, – Initiate and support activities that reduce harm to koalas and that maintain and improve their habitat in our region,
– Work collaboratively with and provide input to key stakeholders, both in government and the private sector, to improve the protection of koalas and their habitat for their long-term sustainability.
The first stage of the project will be critical to demonstrate to the local community the importance of linking natural habitat as we progress the overall strategy of creating a Mary Valley Wildlife Corridor. Our project will also survey weeds and catalogue pests and mitigate the threat of both by strategic removal of weeds and pests, and close planting. Overall our project being in a location that is readily accessible by the community will encourage town, rural residential and farm owners to be more aware of nature and copy/replicate what we have done.
The Traditional Owners for our project area are the Gubbi Gubbi people. The Koala Action Group Gympie and the Mary Valley Rail Trail group have communicated our plan to the Gubbi Gubbi people and have met on the site of the proposed works. We have and will be seeking more support and on the ground advice from a Gubbi Gubbi representative on plant species selection and community education.
This project is Stage 1 of a much larger, community strategy to create a continuous wildlife corridor in the Mary River Valley within the Gympie Regional Council jurisdiction. This Stage 1 represents a unique opportunity to work with local partners on an existing rail trail popular with the local community and visitors.
The rail trail is a community walking track to replace the old rail line between Brooloo and Imbil. The first stage will be located at the entrance to the rail trail close to the township of Imbil. This first stage will be around 200 metres on both sides of the rail trail. Because of its proximity to the start of the rail trail, the proposed habitat enhancement will not only benefit local flora and fauna but also be a welcoming sight to users when they first enter the rail trail. This location presents a wonderful opportunity to create community awareness and educate people on the importance of natural habitat for ecological and social reasons.
Activities include a site plan analysis, removal of weeds and unwanted plants, selection and purchase of a range of suitable trees and shrubs, planting out, mulching, watering and weed control. On completion of planting, signs identifying each species and their ecological role will be purchased and erected on the site. The outcomes of our project will be an increase in local biodiversity, safe movement of wildlife, enhancement of the walking experience on the rail trail, community awareness of local flora and fauna and an improved appreciation of nature by locals and visitors.
This project is undertaken on the traditional lands of the Gubbi Gubbi people.
FNPW supports projects across Australia. In the spirit of reconciliation the we acknowledge the Traditional Owners of Country and recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and culture.
PROGRESS OF THIS PROJECT
This project was funded by FNPW in 2021 through our Community Conservation Grants.