Lucky escape for a Noosa favourite
WHILE the recent Sunshine Coast Koala Summit's will help inform a council management plan for the vulnerable species, local survival advocates say more immediate action is needed to save Noosa's dwindling, wild population.
Nowhere has the latest spate of koala deaths been harder felt than at Peregian where a koala was found dead beside the David Low Way last month after a vehicle strike.
"With four koala deaths in the Noosa region in four weeks and two of those being in Peregian it is now unlikely our local colony - between one and three koalas - will survive the remainder of the current breeding season, unless dramatic action is taken," local Lyn Bollen said.
Upset residents feared initially that this was a koala near and dear to their hearts called Lucky, based on photos taken and compared to the ones they had of him happily in his gum trees.
They feared his loss - especially in Ms Bollen's Spoonbill St where Lucky was first tracked back in 2009 as a youngster - but later photos provided by Murray Chambers of the Sunshine Coast Koala Wildlife Rescue, have raised hopes for his survival, at least for now.
"I now honestly don't believe this is Lucky," Ms Bollen said.
A check of right side markings according to Ms Bollen did not seem to match.
"I am more confident this is another koala which is unknown to us."
But the fact is there is one less koala to help keep local extinction at bay.
"No matter the identity, it is still a koala tragedy for Peregian and the Noosa area.
"The question is - where is Lucky now? We desperately need local koala reports from Peregian people."
Lyn said Lucky's early photos show a young curious koala eager to find his own home range and learning about the trees which produced the best tucker.
"His furry ears and soft cute facial features initially lead us to believe he may have been a female.
"After photographing him for almost three years we were able to easily identify his unique fur markings, lazy eyes and got to know his sleepy character."
Ms Bollen said Lucky shared a part of his territory with Peregian's "star koala" Mumford, but was always careful to sleep and feed in his own trees.
"He was regularly tracked, health checked on site and even moved away from danger when necessary, but a car ended his life.
"He was (hopefully is) one of the last koalas left in Peregian."
Ms Bollen said on a more positive note there was a recent koala rescue in Hastings St
"Last Sunday a female koala was rescued in Hastings St from a tree which was dangerously close to high volume weekend traffic. She was identified as Harper 57, a koala previously rescued."