Koala researchers reveal CQ region hotspots and coldspots
Published on 03 Feb, 2012Media Contact: Delma Clifton 0402 823 289 or Gail Tucker 0459 364 892
For Immediate Release
After three years of mapping koala sightings, including responses to a ‘wanted dead or alive' SMS Hotline campaign, researchers have identified the CQ region's hotspots and coldspots.
One hotspot for sightings is the Bruce Highway in a corridor between Granite and Waverley Creeks near St Lawrence. Another is on the Peak Downs Highway from the top of the Eton Range to Denison Creek.
Addressing a CQ Koala Workshop audience including regional, national and international specialists, CQUniversity researcher Gail Tucker reported receiving 42 sightings of live koalas and 62 deaths; many via the SMS hotline.
LINK for more background, photos and audio from the ABC online re Koala workshops at CQUniversity or
"In contrast, we used to get regular reports of koalas sightings and deaths in the area between Rockhampton and Emerald, but have not had any for some time. We are keen to hear from residents in that area too.
Working with colleague Dr Delma Clifton, Ms Tucker is trying to establish whether the death rates are increasing and what impact these deaths have on the regional populations.
The researchers are looking at possible causes for the road deaths, which may include a habitat change, increased traffic or changes in koala population density.
"During the workshop we will also be discussing whether we can reduce koala fatalities by erecting roadside fencing or perhaps using signage or reducing speeds in certain areas," Ms Tucker said.
"We hope that our research can inform the design and construction of future transport corridors across Central Queensland to reduce impacts on koala populations."