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Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus)



Species conservation project

This species has been assigned to the Iconic species management stream under the Saving our Species program.

Justification for allocation to this management stream

This species has been selected for the iconic management stream based on high levels of community engagement and interest.

Conservation status in NSW: Vulnerable
Commonwealth status: Vulnerable

Management objectives

The conservation project aims to secure the species in the wild in NSW for 100 years, engage local communities in its conservation, and encourage the NSW community to identify with it as a flagship for threatened species conservation.

Species sightings and management sites across NSW

The map below displays the species’ distribution in NSW, based upon the species’ geographic range, habitat distribution or area of occupancy (to as high a resolution as available data allow, using a range of data sources).

Information about the species’ habitat and ecology is available here.

Management sites for this conservation project have yet to be identified. The Office of Environment and Heritage is seeking your feedback to identify important populations of koalas that should be prioritised for conservation action.

IBRA

The species occurs in the following IBRA (Interim Biogeographic Regionalisation for Australia) regions in NSW:

 
South Eastern Queensland
NSW North Coast
New England Tablelands
Darling Riverine Plains
Brigalow Belt South
Nandewar
Mulga Lands
Cobar Peneplain
Broken Hill Complex
Murray Darling Depression
NSW South Western Slopes
South Eastern Highlands
Riverina
Sydney Basin
Australian Alps
South East Corner

Critical actions for this species

The main threats to the viability of koalas are loss, fragmentation and degradation of habitat, mortality through vehicle strike and dog attack, and widespread pervasive factors such as impacts of climate change and disease.

Threats to this species are outlined here.

The actions listed in the action toolbox can be used by stakeholders, where applicable to guide management at a site, area or state scale.The Office of Environment and Heritage is seeking your feedback on these actions.

Action toolbox

Action DescriptionScale
In areas with resident koalas, and in recognised corridors between koala habitats, undertake projects to improve the quality of existing habitat or create new areas of koala habitat. Projects should include resources for long-term monitoring and on-going management. Site
In areas with resident koalas, promote habitat security through permanent protection such as voluntary private land conservation agreements.Site
In association with Roads and Maritime Services and local councils identify koala vehicle strike blackspots along roads. Support relevant road managers to install proven and site-specific mitigation measures such as exclusion fencing and road underpasses.Site
Work with relevant road managers to incorporate koala exclusion fencing and road crossings as part of new road construction projects, including provision of monitoring and on-going maintenance.Site
Work with local councils and other land managers to identify priority areas where dog attacks on koalas occur. Raise community awareness and provide targeted mitigation measures to reduce the incidence of dog attacks on koalas. Area
In association with relevant fire authorities and land managers ensure that koala populations and habitat areas are identified as assets for protection in fire planning tools. Develop Koala Fire Management Risk Plans with NSW Rural Fire Service, local councils and other land managers to identify fire management protocols that minimise impacts on koalas and their habitat.Area
In association with relevant research groups improve the understanding of: • koala disease impacts across the state • disease-related population dynamics and mortality • koala disease management and treatment. Formalise a protocol for collection, analysis and reporting of samples for analysis of koala disease.State
Trial usage and on-going feasibility of artificial water sources in areas prone to heatwaves and drought.Site
Support carer and vet networks in areas of heatwaves and drought to better care and manage koala health and welfare during extreme weather conditions. Area
Identify priority areas to restore and manage refuge habitat and increase habitat connectivity in areas prone to heatwaves and drought.Area
Undertake research into likely impacts from climate change on koalas and their habitat and use this information to prioritise actions and investment to mitigate impacts and adapt to changing conditions.Area, State
Work with koala rehabilitation groups and local vets to coordinate training, provision of materials, and promotion of state-wide protocols including for rehabilitation, genetic profiling, record-keeping, koala release and monitoring.State
Determine resident koala population hubs across the state through standardised methods including an assessment of threats and priorities for management. State
Undertake monitoring to determine change in koala populations and distribution through time.Site, Area
Conduct koala habitat studies and mapping using standardised methods and contribute data to state-wide maps. Site, Area
Develop a protocol for genetic sampling and a databank to store and share information on koala genetic variability across the state.State
Engage with koala rehabilitation groups and other information sources to better understand the causes of koala trauma and mortality. Collate and map the results.State
Undertake research in targeted locations to determine koala use of habitat, presence/absence, home ranges, feed and shelter tree preferences and movement corridors including site based methods such as GPS collars and mark-recapture techniques.Site, Area
Sponsorship of wildlife section of Australian Chlamydia ConferenceSite
Pilot project to reduce fuel-loads in dense post-woodchip regeneration in key koala areas.Site
Establish a centralised database to store and analyse monitoring and reporting data.Site, Area, State

How will this species be managed?

Management sites for this conservation project have yet to be identified. The Office of Environment and Heritage is seeking your feedback to identify important populations of koalas that should be prioritised for conservation action.

Management sites

Click on column headers to sort
Site nameSite typeStatusLocal government area (LGA)
Data pager
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Kempsey LGA Management SiteActive  
Port Macquarie-Hastings LGA Management SiteActive  
Blue Mountains LGA Management SiteProposed  
Campbelltown LGA Management SiteProposed  
Bongil Bongil National Park Management SiteProposed  
Gunnedah LGA Management SiteProposed  
Pilliga Forest Management SiteProposed  
Hawks Nest and Tea Gardens Management SiteProposed  
MidCoast LGA Management SiteProposed  
Port Stephens LGA Management SiteProposed  

Are you or is someone you know doing conservation work for this species or in this area?

Contact us to tell us about the work. Your input will help us evaluate the status of threatened species and provide a broader picture of conservation work across NSW.