Wildlife and research
Since 1998 we have been actively researching and monitoring movements and lives of hundreds of wild koalas plus birds and other wildlife that we encounter on our tours and all our activities in the bush. Special sightings are recorded and reported to local naturalist associations and park authorities. Any health or unusual issues are reported straight away and some rescues have been carried. Janine is a government registered wildlife foster carer who delights in seeing healthy wildlife released back into their own natural habitat.
Koala Research involves each resident koala being named, photographed and identifying markings noted. These wild Koalas are not tagged, caught or handled in any way – they are identified by observation at a distance, through binoculars. Each day every koala found is located on a map, they are photographed, the tree species they are in and all behaviour is noted.
At the end of each year these findings are compiled, analysed and a report for the year is provided to all our Guides, Koala Researchers and to the National Parks Service, local Field Naturalist Club and Koala-specialist Wildlife Carers and veterinarians to assist with understanding of Koalas in this particular wild habitat.
Koala Research Reports
Echidna Walkabout has been conducting observational research with wild koalas in the You Yangs Regional Park since 2006. It is a citizen science project, fully funded by our ecotourism business.
The purpose of this project is to learn as much as possible about wild koalas, in particular their wild behaviour. As we visit the same locations in the Park almost every day, we have a unique and valuable perspective on wild koala movements, tree species preference and social interaction. We believe this information could be useful to other agencies working for the benefit of wild koalas, so we make this information available to land managers, zoologists, wildlife carers, field naturalists clubs, wildlife veterinarians and research organisations.
The research is conducted by 3 main researchers, and one head researcher Janine Duffy. All have been trained by Echidna Walkabout to record the data in the same way. Photographs and GPS reading provide back-up.
The content of these reports can be used in any way that benefits wild koalas but please cite Echidna Walkabout whenever you use it.
If you have any questions or suggestions for improving future reports, please contact Janine Duffy.
This Project is our own initiative, and fully funded by our tour company. A Researcher is employed to input data, and on every tour a Koala Researcher/Field Guide goes out ahead of the tour group to find Koalas and monitor them before the group arrives. This ensures a high degree of success with koala sightings (100% over the past 3 years) and adds 3 hours of monitoring data to each day’s sightings.more on Koala Research Project