Koalas at Koo-wee-rup
Stating that he has been very interested in the discussion on koalas' food trees, E.A.B. (St. Kilda) recalls that in the years 1894-95 he was camped at the Koo-wee-rup swamp and saw many koalas in swamp gums there. The trees were on a narrow ridge parallel with and about 20 chains east of the main drain, and the ridge was entirely surrounded by real swamp and tea-tree. A young koala taken to camp would climb tea-trees and black-woods, but would not feed there, although he throve on leaves from the swamp gums. That young bear was kept for about three months, and was never seen to drink. The writer wonders, therefore, if the moisture in leaves is sufficient for them.
It is added that the swamp gum ridge was cleared for cultivation and the koalas disappeared. In the clearing of the eastern end of Koo-wee-rup many lyrebirds must have been destroyed.
An illustration of a lyrebird from 1872.
Illustrated Sydney News and New South Wales Agriculturalist and Grazier June 8, 1872.
The same column also talks about Lyrebirds on the Moe Swamp in the 1870s.
Lyrebirds Near the Moe Swamp
An interesting bit of history is given by C.P. (Melbourne) in reply to a reader's recent inquiry whether lyrebirds were ever known about the north bank of the Moe swamp. C.P. says that he travelled by the first train that left Prince's Bridge for Gippsland-that was in the 1870's and camped that Easter on the Moe River. It was understood among the settlers then that the "Australian pheasant," as the lyrebird was called, was frequently seen or heard in the vicinity of the swamp.
"People," it is added, "were moving freely about Moe that year as Weinberg, the mailboat carpenter who stole 5,000 sovereigns, was at large somewhere in the district. The police visited our camp at midnight on Good Friday and asked us, should anyone come to us for food, to be sure and let the stationmaster know. At that time there was only one tumble-down building in the Moe of to-day."
Martin Weinberg is alleged to have stolen 5,000 sovereigns in 1877 and was at large - read about him here or here or here.