Partnering with Symbio Wildlife Park.
Koalas are disappearing. Urban-sprawl and to a lesser degree – bushfires, are contributing factors to loss of the koala’s natural habitat and its staple diet – eucalyptus leaves.
Benedict Industries is partnering with Symbio Wildlife Park in an effort to increase food stocks for our endangered national treasure. With Symbio bringing the koala know-how, Benedict is providing the Helensburgh-based zoo with land as well as donating $5000 towards purchasing infant gum trees (tube stock) and constructing a protective fence (below) to stop wildlife from damaging the crops.
Last month, Symbio Wildlife Park’s Operations Manager Jake Webb was driving along Heathcote Road (south-west Sydney) looking for possible sources of perching stock for the Park’s koala community. Fortuitously, he dropped in at our Sandy Point site.
“These days it’s hard to find good trees for our koalas” explained Jake, who also admits to constantly being on the lookout for roadside Council teams in the process of clearing powerlines of ‘fresh’ branches.
After pointing out his daily ‘nutritional’ challenge as well as the Park’s ongoing commitment to protecting koalas to Benedict Operations Manager Brett Jarvis, an agreement was struck to plant out large areas with gum trees across two Benedict sites.
The two participating Benedict sites – Sandy Point and Menangle, have allocated approximately 1500sqm of land for a variety of gum trees – including Grey Gum, Cabbage Gum, Forest Red Gum and Woollybutt.
Under the guidance of Symbio’s ‘eucalyptus expert’, staff from Benedict have already planted more than 200 tube stock at Sandy Point – with another 500 trees to be planted as soon as the nurseries make them available.
“Although the trees won’t be ready for at least 3-5 years, thanks to the generous support of Benedict Industries, we’re future-proofing our koalas’ existence. Looking ahead, we hope to create plantations large enough to allow WIRES and other care groups to also use our plantations” declared Jake enthusiastically.