Koalas at Framlingham damaging trees.
Experts have been removing koalas from Framlingham this week due to over population and damage to gum trees.
The Department of Environment, Land Water and Planning (DELWP) will begin a week-long koala management program this week at the Framlingham township in Victoria’s south-west.
The short-term program aims to ease the pressure of significant koala over-browsing on trees and address any potential koala welfare issues.
It includes koala health checks, fertility control of female koalas to reduce breeding rates, and translocation of koalas to alleviate browsing pressure on trees.
DELWP Statewide Wildlife Programs Manager Vural Yazgin said: “Koala numbers within the Framlingham township have increased significantly in the last decade.”
“This is believed to be the result of koalas that were displaced and searching for new habitat following the Framlingham Forest fire in 2005/2006,” Mr Yazgin said.
DELWP identified Framlingham as one of the sites in the state’s far south-west that would benefit from a short-term koala management program.
“Inspections in June and August 2018 indicated that the township and the adjacent section of the Hopkins River have high koala numbers, declining tree health and loss of preferred food trees, such as Manna Gum and River Red Gum.
“The program being delivered this week aims to help alleviate koala welfare issues and reduce over-browsing to support the recovery of trees.
“Zoos Victoria veterinarians will conduct health assessments and fertility control of female koalas.
“During the program, koalas will be translocated to the Fergusons and Claude Austin State Forests, south of Rocklands Reservoir, which has similar vegetation and very low koala densities.
“Any unhealthy koalas assessed as too sick or having other serious health issues will be humanely euthanased to prevent further suffering.
“Data collected during the program will improve our understanding of the health of the koalas at Framlingham."
DELWP has delivered several koala management programs in the state’s south-west, including at the Kurtonitj Indigenous Protected Area, west of Heywood, and at Cape Otway, west of Apollo Bay.
We will continue to work with local communities, local wildlife rehabilitators, Traditional Owners, key stakeholders and experts in the delivery of future programs.