Posted by: Colin Battersby | December 11, 2010

Koalas return to rehabilitated sites


Koalas return to rehabilitated mine sites

BY LYN UHLMANN09 Dec, 2010 12:00 AM

SCIENTIFIC research is suggesting that koalas are moving comfortably back into land that has been rehabilitated after mining on North Stradbroke Island.

Researcher Romane Cristescu, a PhD student from the University of New South Wales and University of Queensland Centre for Mined Land Rehabilitation, has been working on the island with mining company Unimin formerly CRL for three years on a koala recolonisation research project CRL began in 2002.

She said the project aimed to study koala recolonisation of rehabilitated mine sites.”As CRL received an environmental award for the quality of the rehabilitation, I was very interested in studying whether animals agreed with humans that rehabilitation on North Stradbroke Island was world class,” Romane said.”There is a scientific paradigm that if the habitat mainly landform and vegetation quality of rehabilitation is good enough, then fauna will naturally come back, but this has rarely been studied, as most research in rehabilitation focuses on vegetation.”

Romane said one part of the research was to fit VHF collars on koalas that were found near the mine rehabilitation to see if they subsequently entered it.”By radio-tracking koalas every week, we were able to record their GPS position, if and when they were entering rehabilitated areas, the trees they were using and even collect fresh koala faeces to study their diet,” she said.

via Koalas return to rehabilitated mine sites – Local News – News – General – Bayside Bulletin / The Redland Times.

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