Movement paths of koalas in the urban-rural fringes of Ballarat, Victoria: implications for management

In urban Ballarat, Victoria, motor vehicles and large dogs are significant factors which contribute to the death of healthy koalas. The problem of road deaths has led to a study of the mobility of koalas and their use of a range of disturbed habitats varying from natural remnant eucalypt forest to planted residential areas and Pinus radiata plantations. These broad habitat types, together with large areas of agricultural and land create a mosaic in a largely human-dominated landscape. A comparison was made between the movement paths and patterns of vegetation usage by translocated and non-translocated koalas using radiotelemetry tracking in the urban-rural fringes of Ballarat. The study showed that translocated koalas move extensively from their relocation site in contrast to non-translocated koalas whose activities tend to be localized. Translocated koalas continue to move for several months, but eventually the path taken loses directionality and activity becomes localised in their preferred habitat. The localised movements of non- translocated koalas result in intensive use of a limited area. One sub-adult female, however, showed a movement path with similar characteristics to translocated koalas. Two urban koalas translocated into rural localities used non-local eucalypt species extensively when residential gardens were encountered. Koalas were able to cross large tracts of open and alienated land. Success in crossing these spaces suggests that continuous tracts of habitat in the form of vegetation corridors are not essential for koala movement. Any stress induced by long distance movements in short periods of time may be exacerbated by contact with dogs.

Language

  • English

Media Info

  • Pagination: 259-71

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01432962
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: ARRB
  • ISBN: 0949324353
  • Files: ATRI
  • Created Date: Aug 24 2012 5:19PM