Finding a dependable source of food for the region’s sick and injured koalas is an ongoing challenge for the Friends of the Koala because of the koala’s very special dietary requirements.
Thanks to the generosity local land owners Tracey and Wal Filicietti, and Humphrey Herrington, the owner and manager of Eastern Forest Nursery, 2500 koala food tree seedlings, including Forest Red Gum, Tallowwood and Swamp Mahogany, will be planted this week just outside of Lismore.
The Filiciettis have made five acres of their McKees Hill property available to establish a Koala Food Plantation for the Friends of the Koala.
The Eastern Forest Nursery has raised and supplied the 2500 koala food tree seedlings for the plantation. The Felicietti family has also generously offered to provide ongoing maintenance of the plantation.
Tracey Filicietti has sourced 1000-litre tree guards and stakes donated by Sydney company, All Stake Supply. Their generosity will ensure these seedlings are protected from the frost damage that can occur at this time of year.
Rick Stewart, Co-ordinator of Friends of the Koala’s leaf-collecting ream, said: “We are an entirely voluntary organisation. It is partnerships and donations like these that enable us to meet the specific nutritional requirements of all the koalas that come into our care each year.
“Leaf collecting for koalas is always a challenge, but now thanks to these good people, we’ll have a better chance to ensure an ongoing and reliable food source for all the koalas that come into our care.
“In the meantime, while these seedlings are growing, we’d love to have a chat with anyone in the Lismore area who might have some Forest Red Gum, Tallowwood and Swamp Mahogany that we could harvest right now. All they have to is give me a call on 0405 775 884.”
More information on the work done by the Friends of the Koala can be found at www.friendsofthekoala.org