Setting a new date to save our Koalas
LOCAL mum Phoebe is well known to the dedicated team at Gympie's Koala Action Group.
After all, a rare sighting of her with new joey makes this the fifth year she's raised a baby.
It something the group's passionate co-ordinator Michelle Daly wants to see more of.
"It can be often difficult to know what's going to happen with the little ones, whether they're going to make it," she said.
"I remember one of Phoebe's offspring had to be sent to hospital because she had chlamydia-we noticed her bottom was very stained from the cystitis. She came back well, with a tag in her ear, and the neighbours have said they'd seen a koala with a tag , so that was great news."
Along with conservation work often moving at a glacial pace, efforts are often hampered by habitat destruction, the threat of domestic animals and vehicle strikes.
There's also a very literal 'unseen factor' to consider as well, with koala sightings rare at the best of times.
"It poses a challenge, because you don't see them," Mrs Daly said.
"The only reason I got to see Phoebe was because she was sitting eye level to where our house is."
There's a special thrill, Michelle added, that can only come by a chance encounter with the animals in the wild.
"It's an incredibly exciting thing for a lot of people," she said.
"When you've got people who've moved out to a region like ours, and they've unknowingly moved into a habitat, those sightings are a very special thing."
In an effort to keep those chance encounters happening, the Koala Action Group are helping to promote Wild Koala Day on May 3, an initiative started by the Victorian Koala Clancy Foundation.
As well as spreading information about conservation efforts, the goal of the day includes getting the community involved - by contributing their own research and experience with koalas in their area.
"There a number of ways people can assist, including reporting their numbers to us," Michelle said.
"Anything we can get to build a better dataset of the local population would be terrific."
She also recommended the community make use of the Koala Action Group's website, which features a brochure containing practical information including what to look for to determine if a koala is injured or not.
Their Facebook is currently the best means of getting into contact with the group, you can find it here.
The Gympie Times would love to see your photos and hear stories about koalas living in your local area.
If you're interested in submitting photos, make sure they're of a large file size and send them to email@example.com before May 3.