Nature conservation

Native animals

Managing threats to koalas

The Chief Scientist & Engineer's report recommends the NSW Government develop a whole-of-government NSW koala strategy with the objective of stabilising and then starting to increase koala numbers.

This will require a range of actions to manage and reduce threats to koalas. Some threats will require state-wide action and other threats need to be addressed on a local level.

What are the threats to koalas?

Many of the threats to koalas are well known:

  • habitat loss and fragmentation
  • vehicle strike
  • disease (chlamydia and koala retrovirus)
  • dog attack (wild and domestic)
  • bush fire
  • drought
  • heatwave
  • drowning in swimming pools

Threats impact koalas differently across NSW. There is still more to learn about threats to koalas and the most effective actions to avoid or reduce them. There are actions that individuals can take to help to improve the safety and well-being of koalas. See the What you can do to help koalas factsheet.

How are threats currently being managed?

Government and the community have a range of options available for managing threats. These include:

  • legislation and regulatory controls
  • rules set out in the planning system
  • incentives for private conservation
  • management of the national parks and reserves as well as other public land
  • managing threats and habitat as part of the Saving our Species Program
  • community effort through koala rehabilitation and on-ground action.

The community's efforts to protect koalas is greatly appreciated. Many koala rehabilitation groups and individuals play a critical front-line role, giving their time to care for injured koalas.

What needs to happen in the future?

Maintaining key koala populations will depend on identifying the risks associated with each threat to that population and, based on tolerance for those risks, developing appropriate management actions.

The whole-of-government NSW Koala Strategy can address threats by:

  • identifying priority threats to key koala populations at the population scale
  • defining actions to manage and reduce priority threats to key koala populations
  • prioritising management actions, investment priorities and assigning accountabilities and timeframes
  • reviewing and aligning legislative and regulatory arrangements to improve outcomes for koalas across different land tenures
  • establishing a framework for on-going coordination and cooperation of land managers, policy makers, researchers and the community to deliver defined actions.
Page last updated: 10 March 2017