Campbelltown’s foremost koala expert has warned residents to be on the lookout for koalas this breeding season.
Dr Robert Close says breeding season usually runs from winter until about February and sees the furry creatures behaving more actively than normal.
He said young male koalas would be especially vocal at this time of year.
“The males should be bellowing now, trying to impress the females,” he said.
“People often hear what they think is the sound of pigs in the night, but it will be the koalas.
“They are especially loud on still, cool nights – the bellows tend to boom around.”
Dr Close said younger koalas were leaving their mothers for the first time this season and were unfamiliar with their surroundings.
He said it was even more important for drivers to be aware on the roads.
“They’ve never been on their own before and they’re shuffling off to find new places,” he said.
“They don’t know where they’re going, don’t know what roads to cross or where is safe.”
Dr Close said residents, especially near bushland, might also find koalas in their backyards.
“You never know where they’re going to turn up,” he said.
“If there is a koala in your yard, make sure any pets are kept inside and call WIRES and they will have someone come out and remove it.
“If you see one trying to cross a road, slow down and make sure they get across.”
The expert said there were a host of Campbelltown suburbs where koalas spottings could be expected this breeding season.
Suburbs include St Helens Park, Airds, Kentlyn, Minto Heights, Ruse, Leumeah, Ambarvale, the “hilly side” of Glen Alpine and Appin.
He said koalas used the Georges River as a “corridor” and there were frequent sightings in suburbs along the river.
“I’ve yet to hear of a koala being spotted in Liverpool but I think it’s only a matter of time,” he said.
“There’s bushland in Holsworthy and Moorebank and I think they’re going to move out that way.”