For wild male koala Clancy there’s a tough road ahead. Once he leaves his mum he has to find a home. Currently, all the good spots in the You Yangs are taken by female koalas and older, stronger males.
But Clancy is one of the lucky ones. Where he lives is part of the new Koalas & Kangaroos IN THE WILD tour. On this special wildlife tour, international travellers help make him a home.
“International travellers to the You Yangs are so profoundly affected by the IN THE WILD experience of seeing koalas that they want to help” says Janine Duffy, Koala Researcher, Echidna Walkabout. “We offer them the chance to pull some Boneseed weeds, thus making more habitat suitable for koalas like Clancy”.
Boneseed is an invasive weed that has taken over large areas in the You Yangs, where Clancy lives. Thick infestations of Boneseed degrade koala habitat. Janine says “In our 7 years of research in the You Yangs we have noticed that Koalas don’t use areas heavily infested with Boneseed”.
Echidna Walkabout has monitored koalas in the Park for many years, and has found that the average koala home range is 5 hectares. “If every one of our travellers picks one Boneseed plant, we will create a home for Clancy this year” says Janine.
That’s volun-tourism in action.
Update 11th August 2012: As if to illustrate that we are on the right track, Clancy watched approvingly as Wildlife Guide Roger and his guests – a family of 4 from the US and a couple from Denmark – pulled out 100 Boneseed weeds. Our recommended limit of 10 plants per guest wasn’t enough for them! They wanted to Make a Home for Clancy all by themselves in one day!