As part of Shenhua Watermark's Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) commitment to develop a Koala Plan of Management and a detailed Ecological Impact Assessment, Shenhua is delighted to become a partner with the University of Sydney, and other Australian Universities and experts, in the ARC Linkage Project "Rehabilitating a changing landscape: using the latest advances in koala ecology to direct adaptive management" which is to be headed by Dr Mathew Crowther from the University of Sydney.
Shenhua Watermark firmly believes the research project will complement the work being conducted in the area as part of the Watermark Koala Plan of Management and the Gunnedah LGA Koala Plan of Management. Shenhua Watermark is also delighted to fund the research project by way of $180,000 ($60,000/year) financial contribution and $250,000 in-kind support to enhance the overall health of the koala population within Gunnedah, as well as supplying information required for koala management throughout Australia.
The project will determine the effects of environmental change on the koala population through a combination of landscape ecology, leaf chemistry, disease epidemiology and studies on koala movements. This will lead to better management decisions for the koala population.
The aims and deliverables of the research project will be directly relevant to the Watermark Koala Plan of Management, particularly the replanting and restoration of Koala habitat as part of the rehabilitation process and the location of that habitat to minimise other threats to koalas, such as vehicles.
Further, the research project will utilise GPS tracking of Koalas to understand their movement across the landscape and the Watermark Project Boundary. This method represents a scientific, quantitative, best-practice method of tracking Koala's across the Project Boundary, rather than relying on qualitative, observational assessments.
Shenhua is looking forward to this highly productive collaboration co-ordinated by the University of Sydney.