In 1998 Janine Duffy discovered a revolutionary method of identifying individual Koalas by their natural nose markings. That discovery launched a non-intrusive wild Koala research project that continues to this day. Over 18 years every Koala sighted in the You Yangs or Brisbane Ranges National Parks is photographed, named & identified, their sex established, location taken and tree species and height in tree noted.
Echidna Walkabout's Koala Research showed that wild Koalas rarely use eucalypts surrounded by thick infestations of Boneseed – an introduced weed. In 2011, the 'Make a Home for Koala Clancy' weed removal project began. On every Koalas & Kangaroos in the Wild and Great Ocean Road tour, guests are offered the opportunity to remove a weed to help a Koala. Nearly all guests participate enthusiastically, and most remove 10-20 weeds. It is estimated that 30,000 weeds are removed every year on these tours.
In 2014 Koala Conservation Days were added to the project to educate and involve local community members as volunteers. The days run twice a month and include weed removal, tree planting and maintenance and time spent learning about wild Koalas. The cost of these days is kept low to encourage locals, with up to 80% of running expenses subsidised by Echidna Walkabout and Koala Clancy Foundation donors (please note that this is not a tour).
It is estimated that over 100,000 boneseed weeds are removed each year on Koala Conservation Days!
Echidna Walkabout is the primary supporter and founding entity of the not for profit Koala Clancy Foundation, inspiring travellers and local communities to help ensure a future for wild Koalas. The foundation is set up to support wild Koalas, particularly around the You Yangs and on the Western Plains of Victoria.