planting the future

A children’s story: Meet Matt and Jack

Meet Matt and Jack

Jack and Matt are two koalas that first met after the 2001 Christmas bush fires. These fires destroyed the existing natural vegetation and the life support which native Australian animals need to survive.

Jack and others lost their homes, food and home-range. Jack’s home range is very important to him and the other animals as it identifies their community and helps them to remain within their own territory. They rely on smells and scratch marks to know who lives where, and what’s happening socially. Their home-range is like our councils which manage our community and maintain law and order in the area.

Jack was found by rescue workers – burnt and exhausted. He was fighting the fires and was sent to a local wildlife park to recover. Nurses Betty treated Jack for three months; they developed a great friendship and understanding about the bush and the changes occurring there. Nurse Betty introduced Jack to a friend of hers, Matt. Jack and Matt got on like a house on fire (well, so to speak).

mattjack1Matt would supply himself with fresh food in the local wildlife park. He didn’t like receiving food from his human helpers and preferred to get it himself. It wasn’t long before he took over the feeding responsibilities for the whole wildlife park.

Each time Matt came to Jack, Jack would help and before long they became the best of mates. They would talk for hours about their different ‘up bringing’ and life experiences and share their concerns for other koalas.
They decided to improve their habitat and formed a partnership. They heard about Koala Retreat which is a group of humans who know what they are doing to help koalas. They specialize in this field.

Jack, with the help of Matt, is committed to helping property owners plant native trees as well as educating the community, local councils, and businesses on the importance trees have to biodiversity, conservation and sustainable natural resources.

Jack wants to develop sustainable use of each Eucalyptus tree by yearly pruning and observation of their growth. The pruned branches are not wasted, but rather recycled (as off cuts), and become a renewable resource for food for Matt and his mates in captivity.

Matt's work

mattjack2Matt’s job is to collect koala food from areas Jack has planted. Matt drives around Sydney pruning and caring for the different areas that were planted by Jack (about two years prior). Then when Matt has enough he takes it back to his fauna park for koala food.

Matt’s job is hard because he knows how fussy koalas in captivity are.

Matt’s goals are to:

  • Maintain a high standard of koala food supply
  • Supply variety in their diet

Help develop a breeding program (for which Matt is a willing participant).

Jack's work

mattjack3Jack has noticed:

  • the increase in human population
  • land clearing for commercial use
  • new roads
  • widening of existing roads and bushfires.

Because of this Jack works on planting trees, watches them grow and with the help of Matt is learning how to prune trees correctly to ensure their survival.

Jack loves working in the garden with Koala Carbon Credits (KCC). KCC professionally plants and prunes young Eucalyptus trees, on private, commercial and government properties.

In the long term, Jack is working on developing a new habitat and wildlife corridor for him and other Australian native animals.

Jack’s goals are to:

  • promote trees
  • educate others on the versatility of trees
  • combine conservation and environmental needs with koala captivity management.