1980’s? Lake Wartook Koala Relocation

… I hope by now you are aware that Fisheries and Wildlife published a relocation plan in about 1980. If not you should ask for it, or look it up at the Public Records Office, or get it via FOI. The plan included moving koalas to sites which had similar food species to the source site, and not relocating them in winter to sites likely to be significantly colder. However when many food trees had been killed in Framlingham Forest and at Tower Hill and after three years inaction, the panic reaction was to move almost all remaining koalas to Mount Cole, on the Divide, and in winter. I believe the same happened in the Mount Eccles bush, now part of Budj Bim NP. About 600 disease free koalas had been moved intermittently to Mount Cole long before, from Westernport. No population boom ensued, indicating that many died of exposure and/or chlamydia. The Hall`s Gap population peaked at about 600 koalas but crashed. I suspect that population spread and met the infected koalas relocated earlier from the island in Lake Wartook to the adjacent bush, causing the crash. Later the Cape Otway population was left there until many had died. One I picked up was just skin and bones, and close to death. The tourists stopping to see them were oblivious to the starvation. DWELP then began euthanasing them, and sterilised some before relocation to the Airey`s Inlet area. The magnificent Otway Manna Gum forest was decimated.