AFTER a trying last month - ironically designated as Save the Koala Month - Noosa's koala campaigner Carolyn Beaton has taken heart from a local survey that shows the deep level of grassroots' concern for the survival of these fast-disappearing marsupials.
The Koala Diaries co-founder has taken a great deal of hope from the Noosa Residents and Ratepayers Association's initial survey results, which showed the survival of koalas locally rated top of a range of concerns.
The figures, which are yet to be finalised, show koalas top the poll, with 82% of participants rating their survival as "very important" ahead of illegal dumping, which rated 80% very important.
Maintaining the integrity of the Noosa Plan was third on the priority list at 79%, while some might say surprisingly de-amalgamation was in fourth place at 76% on the very important list.
Water rates (76%) was next, proposed local government legislation changes after that at 70%, council rate rises scored seventh spot (60%) and the proliferation of helicopters overhead was in eighth place (57%).
Ms Beaton said the koala's public support in Noosa would help reinforce to the Sunshine Coast Council the urgent need to implement a conservation management plan for the region.
"The Sunshine Coast Koala Summit Report was delivered to Mayor Mark Jamieson and Councillor Tony Wellington on September 25," she said.
"It detailed the significant issues that have led to the sharp decline of wild koala populations on the Coast and contained 17 recommendations for council to consider.
"We await their response with interest, and no small amount of anxiety - the extinction timeline will soon run out for some of our Coast koala populations."
Ms Beaton said across the Coast the koala had "good weeks and bad in almost equal measure".
She said the good news included sightings of three joeys at Noosa Heads, Doonan and Tewantin and an unexpected sighting of an adult koala on the Noosa North Shore.
"The birth and maturity of koala joeys is now something of a rarity in our part of the world - the first known to us for many years," Ms Beaton said.
"It begs the question, 'Are there others?' It would be good if the scientific work could be undertaken to find out."
Ms Beaton said Noosa Community Radio 101.3 FM had also produced a series of koala-themed community service announcements to further raise public awareness.
Last month three koalas died. All were under five years of age.