1898: French Island Translocation Site

Translocation Site

French Island

Source of Koalas: Gippsland 1898: Three Koalas from an unknown Gippsland location

“Phillip and French Islands in Western Port Bay were not inhabited by koalas at the time of settlement. The current French Island koala population is believed to have been founded by a single release of a small number of koalas taken to the island by fishermen from Corinella in the late 1800s (Figure 3; Lewis 1954). In The Argus (1924), J. G. Palmer from Corinella stated that in around 1898−1900 his brother, F. Palmer took two “old” koalas and one “young” koala from the mainland and released them on French Island. Genetic evidence suggests that a minimum
of three individuals (Houlden et al. 1996) founded the French Island population: two females and one male (Taylor et al. 1997).”

“Landscape, koalas and people: A historical account of koala populations and their environment in South Gippsland.” Corresponding Author: Faye Wedrowicz Australian Zoologist Volume 38 (4)