We introduce you to Bangalow Koalas
Bangalow Koalas Inc. is a Bangalow NSW based not-for-profit registered charity and registered Environmental Organisation. Bangalow Koala’s aim to inspire and involve the community to help look after and protect our beloved koalas.
To date, they have planted 19,200 koala friendly rainforest trees on 18 properties in 21 months across the Byron Shire. Additionally, there is a further 17,500 trees scheduled to be planted this year between February and May. We sat down with Linda Sparrow, President of Bangalow Koalas, to talk about all the fantastic work they are doing to help our beloved Koalas.
“Thank you for taking the time to chat with Just For Pets today, Linda. Firstly, we would like to say a resounding thank you on the behalf of NSW and koala lovers across the world for the hard work your organisation has done not only during this time of utter devastation but your ongoing work for our koalas all year round.”
“Would you mind Linda please, for our readers at home, explaining just what Bangalow Koalas Inc is and your role in helping our Koalas?”
In early 2016 Bangalow Koalas Inc was founded with the local community realising the importance of our koala population and after consultation with Byron Shire Council, we commenced a program, firstly mapping sightings and food trees, then building and protecting the habitat of both the koala and other threatened species. From the beginning as a handful of concerned neighbours, Bangalow Koalas has grown into an active, change-creating group with more than 100 members. Our primary goal is to create a Koala Wildlife Corridor across the Northern Rivers providing food and habitat trees for our vulnerable koalas.
“Why is your organisation so important and what are the reasons do you think behind koalas needing so much help now?”
The koala is widely recognised as a species under threat. It is listed as a threatened species under both State and Federal legislation and is an iconic species in the NSW SOS program. Koalas and their habitat are in need of protection. With the recent devastating bushfires and the loss of habitat our koalas are particularly vulnerable right now and need our help.
“What has Bangalow Koalas been doing to assist during the bushfires? And what exactly does your role look like during these times?”
As Bangalow Koalas primary focus is on tree planting we weren’t directly assisting during the fires as we are not a rescue/rehabilitation group. However, we were distributing medical supplies to Tenterfield Vet and local rescuers/carers in the Tenterfield area thanks to the generosity of Just For Pets. And we will continue to maintain this relationship into the future.
“What would you say has been the greatest struggle for Bangalow Koalas during this time?”
With so many people traumatised by what has happened, we were constantly being contacted on how they could help, what they could do and trying to put all these people in contact with relevant groups. Also trying to keep positive in a time of utter despair as people needed leadership and some sort of hope.
“Has there been a moment you can recall that has instilled hope in you during these hard times?”
I believe there is always hope and when we were being contacted by even more landholders wishing to join our corridor, I knew there was hope.
“Where can our readers go to learn more and help spread the word about Bangalow Koalas and the work you do for our koala community?”
“And lastly, where can we go to help donate and what is needed donation/funding wise?”
We are currently running a fundraiser campaign on both our Facebook page and website. Monies raised are going towards creating our Koala Wildlife Corridor which has expanded from Byron Bay and surrounds out towards Tenterfield, north to the border and south towards Grafton. We wish to plant 40,000 trees by the end of 2020 which will cost an additional $390,000 which includes maintenance for 3 years.
Thank you so much for your time today, Linda. It has been our absolute pleasure to hopefully help shed some light on the important work Bangalow Koala Inc is doing for our koalas at this time of great heartbreak.