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3 September, 2021

Time to save the koala with kisses

A new initiative entitled the ‘Koala Kiss Project’ has today been released by the Australian Koala Foundation (AKF), outlining a plan to achieve contiguous habitat across the entire range of the Koala.

By Peter McCullagh

The project outlines an ultimate vision of the 'Great Koala Trail', approximately 2,543kms of prime koala habitat that can be created into an uninterrupted conservation corridor by connecting key 'kiss points'.

Over 23 years AKF has invested millions of dollars and the most brilliant scientific minds in developing the Koala Habitat Atlas - a first-of-its-kind scientific achievement that maps the entire habitat range of a single species. Now, the culmination of those efforts has revealed a clear vision - we can save the Koala with 'kisses'.

Kiss points are the points where intact sections of koala habitat come close to each other but remain separated by divisions of cleared land.

Chair of the AKF, Deborah Tabart OAM, said remaining koala habitat is extremely fragmented, but some areas come close to ‘kissing’ each other at certain points in the landscape. These connections could be key to saving the Koala.

“If we achieve contiguous habitat, then all creatures great and small could traverse through the bush unthreatened. Humans could walk under this trail of gum trees with koalas happily in the branches overhead,” Deborah said.

“The first phase of this project will be a scientific exercise using software to plot the kiss points over 1.5 million square kilometres of land.

“Once identified, landholders must be given incentives to plant koala forests that link fragmented habitats. Every kiss we can connect in the near future will help ensure the survival of the Koala.”

The first phase of the Koala Kiss Project will be partially funded by sales generated from the new limited edition Lindt Koala. $1 from each sale will go towards the project.

To find out more about this new vision for the koala visit  savethekoala.com/our-work/kiss

 


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