In partnership with Queensland Trust for Nature (QTFN), we have been revegetating this 95 ha parcel of land since 2016. Originally cleared for cattle grazing many decades ago, this reforestation project is re-building habitat for the koala population in the area. As they grow, the native trees will provide vital habitat for koalas and other native wildlife while capturing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
Koalas are listed as vulnerable in Queensland and New South Wales. In 2015, figures from the South East Queensland Koala Population Modelling Study found that in parts of South East Queensland more than 80 per cent of the koala population had disappeared since 1996.
The Queensland Government’s draft Koala Conservation Strategy in 2019 further supported that the species population had steadily declined over a twenty-year period.
During the devastating bushfire season over the summer of 2019 and 2020, more than a billion native Australian animals were lost. Restoring habitat is more important than ever, particularly for protecting remaining populations of koalas and other threatened species from extinction.
From grazing paddocks to koala habitat
QTFN is a non-profit, conservation organisation focused on the protection of Queensland’s biodiversity and we are thrilled to be partnered with them on this project.
About five years ago, QTFN purchased a number of adjoining properties at the foot of Flinders Peak, just one hour south of Brisbane. Together they form Koala Crossing - 652 ha of prime koala habitat made up of open eucalypt woodland and rocky escarpments.
The property forms part of the Flinders Karawatha Corridor, the largest remaining continuous stretch of open eucalypt forest in South East Queensland. After years of land clearing in this part of the state, the project at Koala Crossing is restoring and protecting an extensive area of woodland and forest ecosystem that were once dominant in the region.
Since 2016, Greenfleet has planted about 90,000 native trees across 91 ha of this property and we returned in 2020 to plant a further 7,000. In total, 95 ha has been revegetated with 30 different native species. As well as providing habitat for koalas, you can find the Brush Tailed Rock Wallaby on this site which, like the koala, is considered vulnerable in NSW and Queensland.
When the project kicked off in 2016, QTFN estimated that there were 10 to 20 koalas on the property but surveys in 2020 show that koala populations are increasing in both abundance and density. QTFN's Long-Term Project Manager, Felicity Shapland predicts that koalas will be calling the trees in the Greenfleet planting home within 2021.
The trees planted at Koala Crossing are made up of a mix of 30 locally native species, representing the four different ecosystems occurring on the property. One of these species, the Queensland Blue Gum (Eucalyptus terticornis), is a preferred food source for koalas, insects and birds. These trees can grow up to 50 metres with a trunk diameter of up to 2 metres.
Improving water quality
Sitting at the top of the Purga Creek catchment, creating wildlife habitat is just one of the important environmental benefits of this project. By planting the site out with thousands of native trees, we are helping to retain sediment and prevent further erosion occurring in the creek.
Not far from here, Greenfleet worked on another reforestation project on a site appropriately called ‘Purga Creek’. Located 8km downstream from Koala Crossing, we planted 90,000 trees here in 2007.
References:  South East Queensland Koala Population Modelling Study
- Acacia concurrens
- Acacia disparrima
- Acacia falcata
- Acacia fimbriata
- Acacia irrorata
- Acacia leiocalyx
- Acacia maidenii
- Acacia salicina
- Allocasuarina littoralis
- Allocasuarina luehmanii
- Allocasuarina torulosa
- Alphitonia excels
- Angophora subveltina
- Brachychiton populeneous
- Casuarina cunninghamiana
- Corymbia citriodora subsp. varigata
- Corymbia intermedia
- Corymbia tessellaris
- Eucalyptus crebra
- Eucalyptus tereticornis
- Eucalyptus malanophobia
- Eucalyptus moluccana
- Erythrina vespertilio
- Eucalyptus major
- Jacksonia scorparia
- Lophostemon confertus
- Lophostemon suaveolens
- Melaleuca bracteate
- Melaleuca irbyana
- Melaleuca viminalis