Mornington Peninsula Koala Conservation
Mornington Peninsula Koala Conservation Project
The ‘Mornington Peninsula Koala Conservation Project’ is a joint, community-driven initiative between concerned local residents, Southwest Mornington Peninsula Landcare, (name other groups). The project seeks to encourage and assist landholders to protect and enhance existing vegetation and highlight how everyone can better protect the peninsula’s koala population. Download our membership flyer here: Koala_Conservation_Tri_Fold_V4 FINAL
Image: Michael Mann
What you can do:
•Preserve old indigenous trees on your property including limiting fertiliser use near them
•Control invasive weeds such as Ivy, Karamu and Pittosporum which can kill old trees
•Avoid planting Southern Mahogany (Eucalyptus botryoides) and remove existing plantsas they can hybridise with Manna gums and may not be palatable to koalas.
•Keep dogs on leads when you’re out walking
•Be aware of koalas when driving, especially at night
•Plant indigenous trees, including Manna Gums, Messmate Stringybark & Swamp Gums(see overleaf for details)
For more information for landowners and to get involved on your property please contact us.
Facebook: Mornington Peninsula Koala Conservation
Did you know?
Our small population of koalas on the Mornington Peninsula is in trouble? One of the main reasons is habitat loss, due to past and current land clearing. We have only 18% of remnant indigenous vegetation left on the peninsula, Koalas rely solely on leaf from eucalypts to feed and they need to feed constantly due to their slow metabolic rate.
Koalas need to travel large distances to source food and find mates. On the peninsula, patches of remnant vegetation are not connected well enough for them to move safely across the landscape without risking getting hit by vehicles or dog attack. A 2016 study by Deakin University has found 69% of koala habitat is on private property and koalas are not thriving on the Mornington Peninsula, with no record of breeding. Help us save our koalas!
Trees for Koalas on the Mornington Peninsula
Manna gums are a favourite tree of koalas. Depending on where you live, you can plant either Coastal Manna Gums (Eucalyptus viminalis subspecies pryoriana) or Manna Gums (Eucalyptus viminalis subspecies viminalis). Coast Manna Gums are medium sized, fast-growing, excellent shade trees which provides food and habitat for birds, sugar gliders, possums and caterpillars, as well as koalas. Manna Gums (not Coastal) grow larger and are found further inland. If you have damp areas, you can plant Swamp gums (Eucalyptus ovata), which are small to medium-sized trees found in wet areas which also provide important food for nectar-feeding birds in winter.
Other eucalypts of value to our local koalas are: Narrow-leafed Peppermint Gum (Eucalyptus radiata) Messmate Stringybark (Eucalyptus obliqua) Silver-leafed Stringybark (Eucalyptus cephalocarpa) Snow gum (Eucalyptus pauciflora) (Mt Martha/Moorooduc region only) The most important thing is to check which Eucalypts are suitable for your area. Check the Mornington Peninsula Shire’s plant guides: https://www.mornpen.vic.gov.au/Activities/The-Briars/Shire-Nursery https://www.mornpen.vic.gov.au/Your-Property/Environment/Flora-Fauna-Biodiversity/Wildlife-of-the-Peninsula The coloured areas on the map below show where one or more of the above trees is suitable for planting. The only areas not suitable for koala tree planting are the Nepean Peninsula and some coastal areas (the white areas).