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New koala management plan for KI

The Fleurieu App

Staff Reporters

29 March 2024, 2:46 AM

New koala management plan for KI

Harvesting of Tasmanian blue gums on Kangaroo Island can resume after the state government approved a new koala management plan.


The plan was submitted by timber company AAG Investment Management to meet new state regulations, introduced in response to footage showing koalas being killed and injured.

 

Improvements to koala welfare management outlined in the plan include:

  • Additional koala spotting requirements and strategies to manage fatigue and communications with harvesters.
  • A requirement to report incidents within 24 hours, and monthly interactions and operational activity reports be provided to authorities.
  • Notification of planned harvest activity two weeks prior to harvesting.
  • Formalising the relationship between vets, wildlife carers and company.
  • Differentiating koala spotting strategies between structurally stable plantations and those unsafe due to fire impact.


The Department of Environment and Water (DEW) will monitor the effectiveness of the plan over the next six months to determine whether further improvements are required.

 

This will include unannounced site visits by DEW staff to ensure the new procedures are being adhered to.

 

Environment Minister Susan Close met with plantation owners in Sydney two weeks ago discuss the state government’s concerns about koala welfare.


“The footage of koalas being killed and injured in timber plantations on Kangaroo Island shocked our community and required an immediate response from government,” Ms Close says.

 

“This is why plantation owners now require an improved koala management plan before they can continue to remove the invasive Tasmanian blue gums from the island.


“While this improved management plan will allow the company to resume felling, the investigation into any breaches of animal welfare laws is ongoing, as is work on a broader management plan for koalas on the island.”


The investigation into koala cruelty within the timber plantations is ongoing with investigators based on the island and in Adelaide.

 




 





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