A community funding campaign to help save the South Coast koalas has led to these unique photos of a koala drinking water from a converted frying pan.
Campaign organiser Robert Bertram said the photos, caught on a night-vision camera trap this week, are further evidence of the deterioration of the quality of our forests, "because there is not enough water in the leaves to sustain koalas".
Mr Bertram has been surveying and looking to protect koalas in the Murrah and surrounding forested areas for many years.
Last month he launched a GoFundMe campaign to assist in funding water stations to be installed at various locations in the Mumbulla section of the Murrah Flora Reserve.
Each station comprises a water tank and water bowl with a flow valve, similar to what you'd find on a calf feeding trough.
Mr Bertram said they are mostly 30-litre capacity tanks, but the one that has a camera he upped to 200L, with the outlet tray being an electric frypan in its former life.
The water stations already installed get a lot of wildlife interest and keep a lot of animals happy he said.
He said seeing a koala drinking from it was exciting and distressing in almost equal measure.
"It was predictable, but I was hoping it wouldn't happen so quickly," he said.
"The problem is that if one koala is thirsty it is likely others will also be thirsty. So koalas need water stations throughout the forests they occupy.
"The koala in the photograph is likely a male as there is more pressure on them when water is scarce as females take priority," he said.
"All the trees that I've tested so far have been at less than 50 per cent water content," he said, adding that he had not tested trees the koalas feed upon as "there aren't enough of those as it is".
Mr Bertram said there had been a good response to the campaign so far, with more than $1000 raised and four more water stations have been installed.
As well as money, the campaign needs local residents, from Dignams Creek to Tanja, prepared to manage the stations for more koalas to benefit.
Further campaign details and contact information can found at the website, www.gofundme.com/f/save-the-south-coast-koalas