Two weeks ago, a tinge of green started creeping into the manna gum canopies at Cape Otway. A week later, that tinge has now turned into thick epicormic growth. Even the trees along Manna Gum Drive are fighting back. The only problem is, there are still lots of hungry koalas around so these trees had better put on a LOT of growth over the next few months if they are going to survive the autumn/winter dormancy period.
|Trees turning green again.... beautiful!|
Our eight surviving koalas are still going strong and given the increase in food supply, I think they will continue to do OK for a while. It has been interesting and sometimes frustrating to track their movements. Sally (still with joey), Scarface, Beast and M1187 have not roamed far from their November locations, but the others keep me walking in circles and introducing me to new landholders. Bella moved over 1km to the north in a 1-week period. M1189 also moved about 500m north. Buffy has chosen to move back to her original site (the photo above), and last week, Dave was in Bush Block. All of these koalas will be captured for GPS refit and condition checking late next week.
On other news, the Save Cape Otway Alliance is moving forward in leaps and bounds. They have bulk-ordered more metal sheets so that landholders can put bands on some of their trees, contacted the local Landcare group about ordering seedlings and getting information about planting/seeding etc, contacted VicRoads about the traffic issues on Lighthouse Road, and are encouraging landholders to do koala surveys (using my protocol) so that we can get a better idea of koala density and distribution, and tree canopy condition across the whole Cape. This information will be really useful to DEPI when they return again in February.
And finally, this will be my last blog for 2013. It has definitely been a challenging year and I have no doubt that there will be more challenges in 2014. But, in the meantime, I wish you and your families a safe and happy Christmas and New Years.