The koala is a tree-dwelling, medium-sized marsupial with a stocky body, large rounded ears, sharp claws and variable but predominantly grey-coloured fur. Males generally are larger than females. Essentially, just about anywhere there are gum trees there may be koalas. They can be sparsely distributed, and hard to see, so that people may not even know they are around.
NSW Upper House inquiry recently found the koala could go extinct by 2050 unless urgent action was taken. With so much habitat already lost and fragmented, koala populations are more susceptible to the effects of development, drought, climate change and disease. Committee chair Cate Faehrmann called for urgent action to increase protected habitat. "There must be a significant increase in koala habitat protected from logging mining, land clearing and urban development," Ms Faehrmann said. Loss of habitat poses the most serious threats to koala populations Committee Recommendations:
Close old-growth forests in state forests to logging The Threatened Species Scientific Committee recommended that koala populations in Queensland, NS Wales and the ACT were most at risk and required listing under national environment law to ensure the species sustainability. Any new development or project that is deemed to have an unacceptable impact where koalas are present, or where koalas have been recorded as being present in the previous 18 years will not be approved under national environment law. This includes both a development footprint and the broader area of land on which the development is proposed. The controls apply to both direct and indirect impacts and all habitat on the site area. Therefore, the entire area needs to be considered even if no vegetation is to be cleared. applies to land within the council areas: Blue Mountains, Goulburn Mulwaree, Upper Lachlan, Wingecarribee, Wollondilly New South Wales Government hopes to protect koala habitat in the state's Southern Highlands. NSW Environment Minster Matt Kean said "Koalas are an iconic Australian animal recognised the world over and a national treasure which we will do everything we can to protect for future generations."
There have been multiple sightings of Koalas in the Bannaby area where Transgrid's HumeLink project proposes to erect 75m 500kw towers!
A recent NSW Upper House inquiry recently found that the Koala could become extinct by 2050
Chlamydia, the pervasive infection among the koalas, blazing bushfires, drought, logging of forests and urban encroachment of their habitat are some of the many destructive forces that continue to threaten their survival.
January 2020 Taralga and district communities impacted Green Wattle Creek Fire
The blaze tore through 278,722 hectares in the Southern Highlands and around Wombeyan Caves, near Taralga. The Upper Lachlan Shire Council closed Bannaby Rd, New Foundland Rd, Mares Forest Road, Hanworth Rd, Adavale Rd, and Brayton Rd. Koalas, which usually spend most of their time in the trees, suffered from injury, trauma, smoke inhalation, heat stress, dehydration, and death. The marsupials were also affected by loss of habitat - and conflict with other animals as they fled to unburned forest - as well as reduced food supply. There have been many sightings of Koalas in our area, both before and after the fires. Not all of the bushland was burnt, so much of their habitat has been preserved. Transgrid, as part of its HumeLink project is proposing to put 75m 500mw towers through this very forest and adjoining Critically Endangered Natural Temporate native Grassland, and White-Box, Yellow Box, Blakeley's Redgum grassy woodlands. The NSW Government wishes to preserve Koala habitat but Transgrid is going to disturb, interrupt and decimate it.
The platypus is one of Australia’s most iconic native animals, but it is threatened with local extinction. The platypus usually lives alone, making its home in freshwater systems.
When they’re not looking for shrimp, swimming beetles, water bugs and tadpoles to eat, they spend their time in their burrows, which they build in the banks of creeks, rivers or ponds.
The constant threat of bushfires, deforestation, drought, pollution and predators means the future of this extraordinary monotreme lies in the balance
Trangrid plans to build huge 500mw towers 75m through land at Bannaby as part of the HumeLink route. To do so, they will have to destroy old growth forest which is inhabited by threatened plants animals and birds, critically endangered Yellow Box and Blakley’s native grassy woodland and productive pasture land.
To enable the construction, they will have to clear and ‘sterilise’ land, cross Bannaby Creek many times with their massive machinery, have workers and their supplies and vehicles disturbing the forest.
Platypus have been sighted many times in this area by many local people. We are privileged to have a viable platypus community in the creeks and are horrified that their habitat is going to be violated endangering them even more.
We must restore and protect their precious habitats now. If we don’t, platypus populations could disappear from some of our rivers forever.
Brushtailed Rock Wallaby Scientific name: Petrogale penicillata Conservation status in NSW: Endangered
The Brush-tailed Rock-wallaby has a characteristic, long and bushy, dark rufous-brown tail that is bushier towards its tip. It has long, thick, brown body-fur that tends to be rufous on the rump and greyer on the shoulders. The fur on its chest and belly are paler, and some individuals have a white blaze on their chest. It also has a characteristic white cheek-stripe and a black stripe from its forehead to the back of its head. The Brush-tailed Rock-wallaby is highly agile and can move swiftly and confidently through rugged and precipitous areas. This agility is attributed to their compact, muscular build, their long and flexible tail that is used for balance and their well padded and rough textured feet that provide excellent traction. The average weight of this species is about 8 kg for males and 6 kg for females.
Habitat and ecology Occupy rocky escarpments, outcrops and cliffs with a preference for complex structures with fissures, caves and ledges, often facing north. Shelter or bask during the day in rock crevices, caves and overhangs and are most active at night when foraging. Browse on vegetation in and adjacent to rocky areas eating grasses and forbs as well as the foliage and fruits of shrubs and trees. Highly territorial and have strong site fidelity with an average home range size of about 15 ha. Males tend to have larger home ranges than females. The home range consists of a refuge area and a foraging range linked by habitually used commuting routes. Females settle in or near their mother's range, while males mainly disperse between female groups within colonies, and less commonly between colonies. Dominant males associate and breed with multiple females. Breeding occurs throughout the year with a peak in births between February and May, especially in the southern parts of the range and at higher altitudes.
NSW Office of Environment & Heritage published these recommended activities to assist this endangered species: Landowner awareness. Retain rocky habitat and adjacent open forest or grassland areas. Retain habitat corridors between colony sites. Protect colony sites from human interference or disturbance.
There has been a brush-tailed wallaby colony at Bannaby more many years. It is thriving and reproducing. The conditions of the area are perfect for its continual survival. However, Transgrid as part of its HumeLink project are proposing to erect 75m 500kw Pylons throughout this habitat!
Spotted-tailed Quoll - NSW South Western Slopes: Distribution and vegetation associations
Scientific name: Dasyurus maculatus
Conservation status in NSW: Vulnerable
Commonwealth status: Endangered
The Spotted-tailed Quoll is about the size of a domestic cat, from which it differs most obviously in its shorter legs and pointed face. It has rich-rust to dark brown fur above, with irregular white spots on the back and tail, and a pale belly.
Quolls use hollow-bearing trees, fallen logs, other animal burrows, small caves and rock outcrops as den sites. Mostly nocturnal, spend most of the time on the ground, also an excellent climber and will hunt possums and gliders in tree hollows and prey on roosting birds. Use communal 'latrine sites', often on flat rocks among boulder fields, rocky cliff-faces or along rocky stream beds or banks. generalist predator with a preference for medium-sized (500g-5kg) mammals. Consumes a variety of prey, including gliders, possums, small wallabies, rats, birds, bandicoots, rabbits, reptiles and insects. Also eats carrion and takes domestic fowl. Females occupy home ranges of 200-500 hectares, while males occupy very large home ranges from 500 to over 4000 hectares. Are known to traverse their home ranges along densely vegetated creek lines.
The spotted-tailed quoll has suffered a substantial decline in range and abundance since European settlement of Australia. Major threats to the species are thought to include habitat loss, timber harvesting, poison baiting, competition and predation from introduced carnivores, deliberate killing, road mortality, bushfire and prescribed burning, and climate change. A National Recovery Plan for the Spotted-tailed Quoll is the first national recovery plan prepared for the species to ensure its the long-term survival.
Research shows that theses quolls need large patches of forest with adequate denning resources and high density of hollow-bearing trees. These conditions exist in the Bannaby area where the quolls have been sighted. Unfortunately, their habitat could be drastically affected by the proposed Transgrid HumeLink project which would crect 75m 500kw towers through the forest and woodland where they live. The company would have to clear easements in the old growth forests, sterilise that land to prevent further regrowth of trees, bring in heavy machinery and completely disrupt the environment.
These animals are vulnerable and endangered. It is our responsibility to try and protect them.
The endangered swift parrot
It's estimated that there are less than 750 Swift Parrots left in the wild, and spotting them is getting much harder every winter on mainland Australia. That's because Swift Parrots breed in Tasmania during the summer, and migrate to Victoria and New South Wales during the winter.
The Swift Parrot's declining numbers are attributed to habitat loss.
It needs to contain plenty of flowering trees for food and tree hollows for nesting!
Recently, conservationists raised the alam over the potential logging of a Swift Parrot habitat in NSW's Mogo State Forest. Around 180 of the critically endangered parrots migrate there every winter.
Frequent sightings of the Swift Parrot across south-east Australia has reinvigorated calls to permanently protect their habitats from land clearing.
Bannaby woodland has been an area where these endangered birds visit during the winter months. Transgrid's proposed incursion into the old growth forest in this area is certainly be a deterant to their return.
The Gang Gang Cockatoo
The gang-gang cockatoo (Callocephalon fimbriatum) is a parrot found in the cooler and wetter forests and woodlands of Australia, particularly alpine bushland. Mostly mild grey in colour with some lighter scalloping (more pronounced and buffy in females), the male has a red head and crest, while the female has a small fluffy grey crest. It ranges throughout south-eastern Australia. It is easily identified by its distinctive call, which is described as resembling a creaky gate, or the sound of a cork being pulled from a wine bottle. Loss of older, hollow trees and loss of feeding habitat across south-eastern Australia through land clearing has led to a significant reduction in the numbers of this cockatoo in recent years. The birds nest and roost in old growth forest and woodland in hollows that are larger than 10cm.
As a result, the gang-gang is now listed as vulnerable in New South Wales. 111 It is protected as a vulnerable species under the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 (NSW).121 This protection status as a threatened species makes it a Tier 1 criminal offence for a person or corporation to knowingly damage the bird's habitat.1131 Damage is defined to include "damage caused by removing any part of the habitat". 14 Habitat is defined to include "an area periodically or occasionally occupied by a species". 
The damage done to their breeding grounds during the Black Summer bushfires, Climate Change and their gradual loss of habitat has seen their numbers decline dramatically since the 1970's. They have been listed as Endangered - at high risk of extinction.
To protect the birds, we have to protect the old growth forests. Local residents have seen and heard the birds in their woodland areas. There are known nesting sites at Bannaby in the area Transgrid proposes to erect their 75m 500kw towers. The disturbance caused and deforestation which will occur if this industrial project goes ahead in their habitat is a criminal offence.