A new project has been launched in the Port Macquarie-Hastings region to help create vital habitat and food sources for koalas.
The project has been funded by the WIRES Landcare Australia Wildlife Relief and Recovery Grants and Hastings Landcare are seeking to work with local landowners to implement it.
The aim of the plan is to expand koala habitat by five hectares and plant about 5000 food trees.
The project has been launched in light of the devastating 2019/2020 bushfires on the Mid North Coast, which wiped out up to 90 per cent of the koala population in Port Macquarie.
Hastings Landcare coordinator Stephen Allwood said revegetation sites will be available to the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital as food collection points for rehabilitating koalas.
"Sites will be chosen based on suitability factors including soil, proximity to key areas and fertile locations," he said.
"This means approved revegetation sites will result in maximum benefit for local koalas."
Leonie Gale is an active member of Hastings Landcare and established a koala corridor when she first moved to her Pembrooke property about 10 years ago.
Mrs Gale is passionate about biodiversity and conservation after working for many years in the sector.
She planted koala feed trees on her property to link some koalas which were located on her creek line with others which were located across the road.
The koala corridor also connected to about 50 acres of state forest.
Mrs Gale said food trees for koalas include Tallowwood, Red Gum, Grey Gum and Swamp Mahogany. All of the species are present on her property.
Mrs Gale is urging community members to get onboard with the latest project and help support koalas at a time when they are desperate.
She said fragmented koala habitats can put the animals at risk due to the need to travel to other populations.
Mr Allwood said rehabilitating koalas at the hospital need a constant source of fresh leaves from suitable species.
"These animals won't stand a chance if there is nothing done to reestablish their habitat," he said.
"Their numbers will never recover and this is why the grant program between WIRES and Landcare Australia is so important.
"It's as much about preservation and regenerating the habitat, as it is about rehabilitating and protecting the animals."
Hastings Landcare will support participating landholders with the running of their projects, education and general support.
The project was created thanks to the large amount of donations to WIRES from within Australia and around the world following the 2019 bushfires.
The WIRES Landcare Australia Wildlife Relief and Recovery Grants was launched in April 2020.
Sixty four environmental groups across the country will benefit from the landmark $1.1 million grants partnership supporting recovery of wildlife habitats, impacted by bushfire and drought.