Koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus) have not been seen in Kosciuszko National Park for 75 years…until now. Just recently, a male koala was spotted crossing the Snowy Mountains Highway near Blowering Dam east of Tumut.
Whether it was just a rogue individual or a member of an unrecorded population remains to be seen. The closest known populations are 150km away! Even more interesting is that the koala headed for a patch of Eucalypts that have been planted as part of a huge revegetation project. While male koalas are known to move long distances, perhaps the trees planted have helped facilitate his meanderings. With habitat fragmentation being a major threat to Koalas Australia-wide this might be a positive news story! NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service plan to conduct an extensive survey of the area and see if any other koalas can be found.
If you are in this area keep a look out for anything grey, furry and koala-sized, and if you do happen to see a koala please call NPWS Tumut office on 02 6947 7000.