Mt Gilead Stage 2 poses serious threats to Campbelltown's Koalas and other Endangered Species in the region. The 646 ha development contains Critically Endangered Cumberland Plain Woodland and the following endangered species have been sighted inside the development area (SEED Database):
- Koalas (Endangered)
- Gang Gang Cockatoos (Endangered)
- Spotted-tailed Quolls (Endangered)
- Brown Pomaderris (Endangered)
If we consider the effects on Koalas; Gilead Stage 2 is on occupied Koala habitat and contains an East-West Koala Corridor, which is important for koala movement between the Georges and Napean Rivers.
Image 1 - Map of Gilead Stage 2 (blue section) showing Koala sightings (coloured squares) and Biodiversity Corridors (brown) - NSW SEED Database.
Development so close to where Koalas are living and dispersing not only threatens their habitat through land clearing and fragmentation, but also increases the threat from vehicle strikes and dog attacks. There is good evidence that urban development on the boundary of koala habitat results in the decline of koala populations (Chief Scientist report).
Campbelltown’s koalas have already seen a 10 fold increase in vehicle strikes and 5 fold increase in dog attacks over the last 3 koala generations (Biolink 2023). This is the largest growing, healthy population of Koalas in the Sydney Basin. Their survival and expansion is key to Koala recovery in NSW.
Gilead Stage 2 undermines the conservation of Koalas by encroaching on their habitat and exacerbating the risks this Koala population is already facing. For more information, we have written an in-depth overview for Campbelltown Council members that you can read here.
Tonight the Campbelltown Council will decide whether give Gilead Stage 2 Biodiversity Certification. Watch the Council meeting livestream tonight at 6:30pm or watch the recording from tomorrow.
Image: Save Sydney's Koalas