Tree Troughs make a splash

Mulgowie property owner Kia Lech planting seedlings on her property. Pictures: IFAW

Drinkers installed to provide koalas and other native animals with a reliable source of water during droughts and after bushfires are being hoisted up into trees across southeast Queensland.

The initiative forms part of Koala Climate Corridors, a project spearheaded by the Great Eastern Ranges and the International Fund for Animal Welfare to help wildlife adapt and communities build resilience to climate change.

Lockyer Uplands Catchment Inc is leading the project in the region.

Landholders have been engaged by LUCI to install 47 Tree Troff water drinkers across the first climate corridor, Bunyas to Border which stretches from the Bunya Mountains to the Border Ranges.

GER CEO Gary Howling said Bunyas to Border was about creating a corridor along the ‘western horn’ of the Greater Border Ranges.

“[It] enables local wildlife to move and adapt in response to climate change and provide them with vital refugia to retreat to during bushfires, floods and droughts,” Mr Howling said.

“Part of this is ensuring there are reliable sources of drinking water along the corridor that wildlife can safely access without putting themselves at risk.”

IFAW Wildlife Campaigns manager Josey Sharrad said landholders are the essence of this project.

“With koalas now endangered, it is critical communities lend a helping hand to this species on the brink,” Ms Sharrad said.

“Landholders willing to make their properties more wildlife-friendly are an invaluable part of the solution.”

Koala Climate Corridors local project coordinator Justine Rice said providing supplementary water was incredibly important, especially in southeast Queensland where there are declining koala populations and more frequent droughts.

“The aim of the wildlife drinkers is to try and prevent koalas from having to come to the ground as often where they are at a greater risk of being trampled by cattle, hit by cars or attacked by dogs,” she said.

“This is particularly the case in the Lockyer region where habitat has become very fragmented, and koalas need to travel a lot further across areas that don’t provide ideal habitat.”

Mulgowie property owner Kia Lech is involved in the project.

The Lech family installed a wildlife drinker on their farm and had 400 seedlings planted.

The plants will create stepping stones of habitat for koalas, greater gliders and other animals moving between their land and neighbouring properties.

“There are not many trees on the property at the moment and we have always been interested in giving back a little of wherever we are to wildlife,” Ms Lech said.

“It was a match made in heaven when the Bunyas to Borders project came along.”