Collared koala killed on Picton Road

A young, healthy male who provided valuable information to the Wollondilly Koala Conservation Project has been killed on Picton Road.

Qyburn, who was about three-years-old, was struck and killed by a car on January 5 as he attempted to cross Picton Road.

Wollondilly Council, as part of the conservation project, tracked Qyburn’s movements.

Qyburn was collared in October 2017 near Broughton Pass.

From there, he travelled about seven kilometres south, crossing the Cataract River and ended up in Wilton near Macarthur drive.

The area he was killed on Picton Road is known as a notorious hotspot for koala deaths.

Wollondilly Council’s environmental education officer, Damion Stirling said at Qyburn’s age, young males typically began to disperse to establish their own territory.

“Over the last 12 months, since we have been GPS tracking koalas, it has been really interesting to see their movements,” he said.

“There is a narrow habitat corridor that runs from Appin to Wilton and it never ceases to amaze us how far they can travel in a relatively short period of time.” 

The council and the Office of Environment and Heritage have identified Picton Road as priority for wildlife fencing and underpasses.

Council’s projects officers have been nervous because another young male koala, Rhaegar has crossed Appin Road, also a koala death hotspot, three times in the past two months.

“Council and the OEH are in discussions with Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) about the issue and we are waiting on a formal announcement of when wildlife protection fencing will be erected in the koala road strike hotspots,” Mr Stirling said.

The council has been coordinating the Wollondilly Koala Hotline since January 2015.

After receiving a Saving our Species Grant, the project expanded and under the guidance of OEH the team have tracked 15 koalas in the region, conducted 300 spotlight surveys and completed koala habitat surveys on 60 private properties in the last 12 months.

Conservation Volunteer teams have also been out in the field every two weeks for the last few months tracking and recording information about the region’s koalas and helping to restore their habitat. 

If you see a koala please call the Wollondilly Koala Hotline on 4677 1100.

If you find an injured koala please phone Wollondilly WIRES 24hr 0466 318 688, Sydney Wildlife 9413 4300 or Wildlife Rescue South Coast 0418 427 214.