Wildlife Camera traps were deployed with the intention of capturing images of animals that are accessing the newly burnt area following the implementation of a prescribed burn at the Dobies Bight property, which is owned by the Casino Boolangle Local Aboriginal Land Council. The key objective was to get some images of the koala population that are known to be in this area, we were happily surprised to find that a mother koala and joey were photographed coming and going from the site only three days after the burn was held.
Minyumai IPA ranger Daniel Gomes found koala claw markings on a tree during the pre-fire wildlife assessment so the camera trap was strategically located near close by. The Dobies Bight property is an island of critical habitat for many threatened species which is surrounded by fragmented pockets of native vegetation and vast areas of cleared farmland. This refuge is locally important to the population of koalas as it provides food, shelter and a safe place to live. The images also provide evidence that the population is breeding.
The results were better than anyone expected. A mother and her joey were photographed one morning around 9am moving away from the tree. The same koala and her baby were then recorded around 3am the following morning, returning back along the path she had travelled. These are wonderful results for the rangers and property owners as they indicate that the koalas have not left the area and are already moving across the property so soon after the burn. The removal of woody weeds such as lantana through the application of herbicide and then burning provides Koalas and other species with better access to food and habitat trees and also allows for regeneration of native species.