CSENS has chosen to feature this Envirosocial project Bangalow Koalas as a high value contributor to the planet. Gains are in regeneration, biodiversity species protection, animal welfare, community participation and carbon sequestration.
Connection is cultivated between the community and wildlife by enhancing koala habitat and rainforest remnants in a wildlife corridor.
Founded in 2016, Bangalow Koalas is a community group devoted to protecting the village’s unique koala population. The Koala is listed as a vulnerable species nationally under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity (EPBC) Act 1995 and in NSW under the Threatened Species Conservation (TSC) Act 1995.
What started as a handful of concerned neighbours determined to prevent a 400-metre stretch of 30-year-old koala food trees from deteriorating or being forcibly removed, has grown into an active, change-creating community group with more than 120 members lead by Bangalow local, Linda Sparrow.
The aim is to create a Koala Wildlife Corridor connecting existing sections of koala habitat and food trees across the Northern Rivers of NSW. The long-term goal is extending the corridor westward, forming a linkage of habitat from Byron Bay and surrounds, out towards Tenterfield, north to the Queensland border and south towards Grafton, allowing koalas to move more safely across the local landscape. The ultimate goal is to plant 500,000 trees by the end of 2025.
Bangalow Koalas have planted 157,000 trees in 3 years. The ultimate goal is to plant 500,000 trees by the end of 2025, of which they are well on the way of achieving. As a result, the corridor has already expanded and connected existing sections of koala habitat from Byron Bay and surrounds, and is now heading further westward to Tenterfield, north to the Queensland border and south towards Grafton.
- Awarded 2019 NSW Landcare Awards – Australian Community Media Landcare Community Group Champion.
- 2020 Australia Day Byron Shire Environmental Project of the Year.
- 2020 President Linda Sparrow Australia Day Byron Shire Environmental Citizen of the Year and finalist for the 2020 NSW Environmental Citizen of the Year Award.
- 2020 Byron Shire Council Sustainability Award
- invited to be a mentor in the Green Innovation Awards – Mentoring Program in 2021.
Find out more about the work of Bangalow Koalas.