Under threat.
Under threat. Sylvia Wallis

Koalas in Noosa are being hounded to death

DOGS may be man's best friend, but they appear to be the major threat to the future of Noosa's koalas.

That was the clear message during council debate on the latest koala conservation action plan update, with councillors being told that killer dogs were a much bigger threat to the local species than car strike.

This came as councillors were told of proposals to reduce the speed limit on local roads in koala habitat areas, including Noosa Parade from Pinaroo Park roundabout to the roundabout before Weyba bridge.

Council principal environment officer Peter Milne said dogs and chlamydia disease were two of the biggest threats, and also carpet snakes, with car strikes coming in as "fourth or fifth” on the list.

Deputy Mayor Frank Wilkie said the Moreton rail link koala tracking project found of the 400 koalas fitted with electronic collars and tracked for more than two years, about 130 were later found dead.

He said most deaths were due to wild dogs, with one dog reported as responsible for the death of 70 koalas.

Mr Milne thought under-reporting of wild dog attacks in Noosa "could be a real problem”.

"We currently have a wild dog program but they're more targeted at agricultural impacts.”

Mayor Tony Wellington said the dog danger was not just wild dogs, with domestic pets also a concern.

He said the koala protection measures in use could be ineffectual.

"We know that koala signs generally get overlooked over a period of time, they just become part of the scenery and they have very little impact,” CrWellington said.

He said flashing warning signs might not warrant the expense, while protection fencing could trap animals within road reserves and "can be as much a problem as a benefit”.

"Vehicle speed limits are not an easy thing to control and simply asking people to slow for wildlife doesn't work,” the mayor said.

"And then we have to deal with community expectations about whether they want to be driving everywhere at 40km/h.

"It's a difficult issue.”

Cr Wellington said the council needed to make sure it was not "spending millions of dollars on supposed remedies that aren't actually remedies”.


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