Koalas have started singing from tree tops throughout the Southern Highlands, serenading each other at the start of their breeding season.
To help mark the occasion Wingecarribee Council is hosting a world-first koala karaoke party later this month, when it will report the results of microphones in trees that last year recorded 10-thousand hours of koalas singing.
Although council's environment officer Margot Law said singing might not be the best term for what the koalas did.
"Singing probably gives them a little bit too much credit," she said.
"It's more grunting or bellowing, sounding like a tree pig. that would probably be the best description of their singing ability.
"And it's a sound that the males make to either attract females or scare off other males during the breeding season," Ms Law said.
“Eligible bachelor koalas will announce their availability to potential partners and warn off competition by bellowing or singing from treetops.”
While the koalas use their voices for a biological purpose, they also help the Southern Highlands Koala Conservation Project tocalculate annual koala population trends and compare the results to climate and land use data.
“We have microphones listening for koalas all over the Wingecarribee Shire, from Kangaloon to Wombeyan Caves and Balmoral to Wingello,” Ms Law explained.
Hosting the koala karaoke Zoom party on September 28th is Rockwiz host and Bowral local Julia Zemiro who knows a thing or two about music, albeit usually produced by individuals slightly less fluffy than koalas.
“We’re absolutely thrilled Julia has agreed to join us to help spread the message about koala conservation,” Ms Law said.
Joining Julia will be koala experts from Wingecarribee Shire Council and the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment.
Ms Law said the evening promised to be “an informative, slightly wacky but massive fun night in.”
"We'll go through the results of our monitoring survey, and then Julia Zemiro is going to be interviewing us on the Southern Highlands Koala Conservation Project and what's going on with koalas in our area, and then we're going to round out the night with a karaoke party where we're all going to sing a few songs together, and we might mix a few koala bellows into those songs as well."
Anyone wanting to join the free online fun must book via koalakaraokeparty.eventbrite.com.au.