Koala population (Phascolarctos cinereus), Pittwater Local Government Area - endangered population listing

The Scientific Committee, established under the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995, has made a Final Determination to list the population of the Koala, Phascolarctos cinereus (Goldfuss, 1817) in the Pittwater Local Government Area (LGA)* as an ENDANGERED POPULATION in Part 2 of Schedule 1 of that Act. Listing is provided for by Part 2 of the Act.

NSW Scientific Committee - final determination

The Scientific Committee has found that:

1. Phascolarctos cinereus is not listed on Part 1 of Schedule 1 of the Act and thus populations of P. cinereus are eligible for inclusion on Part 2 of Schedule 1 of the Act.

2. The population of P. cinereus in the Pittwater LGA occurs between Ingleside and Elanora Heights in the south and Palm Beach in the north on the Barrenjoey Peninsula. As one of the few Koala populations in the Sydney area this population is of particular conservation significance.

3. Between the 1940s and 1970s the population was the largest koala population in the Sydney area, estimated at 123 individuals in the 1970s. This population declined significantly to an estimated size of six individuals in 1993. The 1998 population is estimated to be less than this number.

4. Habitat loss and fragmentation due to increasing urbanisation has been the most significant cause of koala population decline in the Pittwater LGA. The remaining bushland reserves are thought to have an insufficient representation of food trees and be inadequate for the continuing viability and rehabilitation of the present population. Individual koalas have been forced to utilise trees in residential areas to obtain food, increasing the occurrence of road deaths and predation by dogs. The disease Chlamydia presents an additional threat to this population.

5. In view of 2, 3, & 4 above the Scientific Committee is of the opinion that the Koala population in the Pittwater Local Government Area is eligible for listing as an endangered population because its numbers have been reduced to such a critical level that it is in immediate danger of extinction and the population is of significant conservation value.

Proposed Gazettal date: 27/11/98
Exhibition period: 27/11/98 - 15/1/99

* Note: this population was called the Barrenjoey Peninsula population in the Committee's Notice of Preliminary Determination gazetted on 12th June, 1998. The name of the population has been changed to more clearly indicate the location of the population which occurs in other areas located near the Barrenjoey Peninsula. No change has been made to the area identified as being occupied by the population.