A new initiative entitled the ‘Koala Kiss Project’ has today been released bythe Australian Koala Foundation (AKF), outlining a plan to achieve contiguoushabitat across the entire range of the Koala.

The project outlines an ultimate vision of the ‘Great Koala Trail’,approximately 2,543kms of prime koala habitat that can be created into anuninterrupted conservation corridor by connecting key ‘kiss points’.

Over 23 years AKF has invested millions of dollars and the most brilliantscientific minds in developing the Koala Habitat Atlas – a first-of-its-kindscientific achievement that maps the entire habitat range of a single species.Now, the culmination of those efforts has revealed a clear vision – we cansave the Koala with ‘kisses’.

Kiss points are the points where intact sections of koala habitat come closeto each other, but remain separated by divisions of cleared land.

Chair of the AKF, Deborah Tabart OAM, said remaining koala habitat isextremely fragmented, but some areas come close to ‘kissing’ each other atcertain points in the landscape. These connections could be key to saving theKoala.

“If we achieve contiguous habitat, then all creatures great and small couldtraverse through the bush unthreatened. Humans could walk under this trail ofgum trees with koalas happily in the branches overhead,” Deborah said.

“The first phase of this project will be a scientific exercise using softwareto plot the kiss points over 1.5 million square kilometres of land. Onceidentified, landholders must be given incentives to plant koala forests thatlink fragmented habitats. Every kiss we can connect in the near future willhelp ensure the survival of the Koala.”

“AKF is all about recovery of the species and with the Federal Government now7 years behind writing a recovery plan for the Koala, it is clear we must takematters into our own hands and a project like this is essential.”

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