COUNCIL WILDLIFE CAMPAIGN: Poppy the koala enjoys a morning chat with wildlife carer Kiara Hill.
COUNCIL WILDLIFE CAMPAIGN: Poppy the koala enjoys a morning chat with wildlife carer Kiara Hill. Nev Madsen

New Gympie phone app will help you save the koala

GYMPIE Regional Council wants local residents and their mobile phones to help in a new campaign to save the region's wildlife, especially koalas.

Conservation groups will be encouraged to join in, along with the Transport and Main Roads Department and state government road kill number crunchers. The council has engaged consultants to identify some of the danger zones on local roads, where wildlife-vehicle conflict threatens both wild animals and drivers.

And it is looking to design animal paths (or "fauna movement infrastructure”), which would be built in to new road, bridge and drainage infrastructure.

Councillors yesterday received an Environmental Planning Team report outlining a multi-pronged campaign which will involve an "internationally recognised” consultant, revegetation projects, viable wildlife corridors linking habitat areas and a new council-developed "citizen science app” to allow people to record and report wildlife sightings and problems.

Staff told councillors at yesterday's Civic Centre briefing workshop that the project, which would support koala conservation efforts in particular, was expected to be finished and in operation by Christmas.

"The final report will provide a prioritised list of potential works and inform the design of planned roadworks to minimise the death and injury of wildlife on our road network,” the staff report said.

The council's Environmental Planning office was in the process of developing the Citizen Science App, which would capture citizen sightings of threatened and priority species and automatically record fauna mortalities and injuries from vehicle strike.

It would save the cost of trained field researchers and thereby broaden the scope of data collection, also eliminating errors.

"The app is designed for smartphones, tablets and desktop computers and could be used by community or government or council groups.”