Big Canopy Camp

Sydney Knitting Nannas and Friends joined the Bob Brown Foundation and Save Sydney’s Koalas as part of the international Big Canopy Campout on Saturday 17th of September.

This Nannas’ knitted banner shows many of the threats faced by the endangered koala species. At the Campout we heard first hand about the threat to koalas of badly planned and rampant urban development.

At Smith’s Creek Reserve near Campbelltown, led by local Les Shearim, we found one member of the resident koala colony asleep in a tall tree.

The Campbelltown koalas, the last growing chlamydia-free colony in NSW, may not be thriving for much longer. With the latest subdivision at Airds, the Reserve has recently been completely encircled by urban development. As well as stress from pollution, noise and lights, koalas in this remnant bushland face threats from dog attack and vehicle strike as they attempt to follow the bushland corridors that used to exist. Local wildlife rescuers have been reporting high numbers of injured koalas – sometimes more than one per night, during this current breeding season as koalas range widely to find mates,

At our camp site on a bush property not far from Smith’s Creek, our hosts from Save Sydney’s Koalas explained more about the dire situation of the Campbelltown koalas. These endangered animals are also threatened by Lendlease’s proposed housing development at Mt Gilead. This development sits in an area where the Georges and Nepean Rivers are at their closest point, where koalas have established movement corridors for themselves into other areas as far away as the Blue Mountains.

Lendlease have already cleared about ten hectares of mature habitat trees in Stage 1 of their development. They admit that they intend to clear another 70 hectares in Stage 2 which is yet to be approved.

Koala mapping by Professor Robert Close shows that the Mt Gilead area has been used as koala habitat for many years.

Nannas are calling on Federal Environment Minister Plibersek not to give final approval to Stage 2 of the Lendlease Mt Gilead development. We are also asking her not to give final approval to the Cumberland Plain Conservation Plan which sacrifices too much land to urban sprawl.

Nanna Bron

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