Research – Scott completed his Honours project with our Blue Mountains Koala Project while enrolled at the University of Western Sydney during 2015, and continued to volunteer with our project for 12 months. His Honours research was focussed on determining diet composition and quality – what the koalas eat, and how much nutrition they gain from the food available to them. This can affect a huge range of ecological factors, like how well the koalas breed, and how far they move each day.
To gain an understanding of what tree species the koalas are using, Scott’s project involved tracking a small number of collared koalas that are part of a population residing between 500-550m elevation in the southern region of Wollemi National Park, north of Blue Mountains National Park off Bells Line of Road. He collected scats (poo) from the koalas to chemically analyse the leaf fragments in the scats, to work out what trees the koalas eat. His University supervisor was Dr Ben Moore at UWS, with co-supervisor Dr Kellie Leigh from Science for Wildlife.