Record crowd at koala count

This year 194 people headed to the Narrandera Flora and Fauna reserve for the annual koala count. About 29 koalas were spotted.

This year’s koala count had a record turn-out, with 194 people of all ages heading to the reserve to enjoy the weather.

“It was lovely weather, and we had sightings of 29 koalas,” said Ken Murphy, chair of the Koala Committee.

“All the animals that were spotted were in good health, and all of them were spotted at a great height.”

The koala count enables the National Parks and Wildlife Service to examine population trends and get an overall picture of the health of the koala population, even though the count isn’t quite an accurate assessment of population numbers.

Generally speaking, the more people present at the count, the more koalas are spotted.

The koala spotters ranged in age from five weeks old to 92 years old.

According to one attendee, people were having such a good time they forgot to check the time.

Member for Cootamundra, Steph Cooke, was also present at the count, and used social media to promote the event as “everyone must put this on their bucket list of things to do, especially for children. It’s amazing”.

Narrandera’s mayor, Neville Kschenka, also attended.

“People really enjoyed themselves,” Mr Murphy said.

“We also had a display from the Murrumbidgee Field Naturalists – they were showing people information on animals found in nature reserves.”

The Murrumbidgee Field Naturalists aim to facilitate and promote the knowledge of natural history, and to encourage the preservation and protection of the Australian natural environment, especially that of the Murrumbidgee River Valley.

Rotary cooked up a barbeque lunch for the hungry spotters, and kept the food going until everyone was back from the reserve.

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