Koala Crossing was acquired by the Trust over 2014 and 2015. It is 652 hectares of koala habitat, situated at the base of Mt Flinders, 5km from the township of Peak Crossing. The property contains a mix of open eucalypt woodland and rocky escarpments. A portion of the property is cleared grassland, an after-effect from the cattle grazing enterprises traditionally run in the Peak Crossing area.
Blondie an orphanded female and a wild male koala at Koala Crossing
The property neighbours the Flinders-Goolman Reserve and forms part of the Flinders Karawatha Corridor, the largest remaining contiguous stretch of open eucalypt forest in South East Queensland. The establishment of Koala Crossing means QTFN is protecting more than one percent of this corridor. The extent of clearing in Southeast Queensland means Koala Crossing provides an opportunity to restore and protect an extensive area of woodland and forest ecosystem that were once dominant in the region.
What the property protects:
Koala Crossing contains a number of distinctive habitats including rocky hills and open eucalypt forest that support a number of threatened species including the koala (Phascolarctos cinereus), brush-tailed rock-wallaby (Petrogale penicillata) and powerful owl (Ninox strenua). The continuous corridor provided between Koala Crossing and the Flinders-Goolman reserve allows these species to continue natural movement patterns which will increase the resilience of the natural system to cope with climatic variation.
The property is represented by four different ecosystems, one of which is ‘endangered’ and one of which is ‘of concern’ biodiversity status. These ecosystems are able to support a large variety of fauna.
The Trust is invested in ongoing research at Koala Crossing, the results of which are guiding our management practises. The University of Queensland’s Wildlife Ecology Group has been using Koala Crossing as a survey site to determine the carrying capacity of koala habitat in the area around Mt Flinders. As part of the survey three koalas have been fitted with radio tracking collars with GPS loggers to determine their home ranges and extent of movement.
QTFN's Felicity Shapland and UQ's Dr Bill Ellis at one of the koala surveys
Beyond the scientific value, Koala Crossing has provided practical and meaningful conservation opportunities for more than 150 everyday Queenslanders through a series of field days. These were focussed on tree plantings, weed and fencing removal. The volunteer program has grown organically to include corporate volunteering and team building activities for companies including Origin Energy and New Hope Group.
The property has also doubled as a classroom for Peak Crossing State School students, who came to plant trees for a day participate in a koala tracking exercise and observe koala scent dogs in action in real life conservation work.
Volunteer at a fencing removal day
Blondie is a female koala released on the property in March 2015. Blondie’s mother was killed by a dog in the local area and Blondie was raised by the Ipswich Koala Protection Society.
She was fitted with a radio tracking collar as part of the UQ Wildlife Ecology Group research into koala populations in the Mt Flinders area. Since her release, Blondie has nearly doubled in weight and has been frequently seen making friends with the local male koalas. Hopefully we will see a baby Blondie soon! When she reached maturity it was decided that Koala Crossing would become her new home.