Nature conservation

Threatened species

Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus)



Saving our Species strategy

This species has been assigned to the Iconic species management stream under the Saving our Species (SoS) 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

Management objectives

The SoS strategy 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:

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

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 protocols 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

How will this species be managed?

Key management sites for this threatened species are being identified by the Office of Environment and Heritage and other program partners, where feasible, cost-effective and beneficial to the threatened species. Currently, 12 management sites have been identified for this threatened species.

Management sites

Click on column headers to sort
Site nameSite typeStatusLocal government area (LGA)
Data pager
12
Far north-east Hinterland Priority management siteActive Ballina, Byron, Kyogle, Lismore, Richmond Valley, Tweed 
Bellingen, Coffs Harbour, and Bongil Bongil National Park Priority management siteActive Bellingen, Clarence Valley, Coffs Harbour 
North Macleay - Nambucca Priority management siteActive Bellingen, Kempsey, Nambucca 
Western Slopes and Plains Priority management siteActive Gunnedah, Liverpool Plains, Narrabri, Warrumbungle 
Comboyne and Port Macquarie region Priority management siteActive Mid-Coast, Port Macquarie-Hastings, Walcha 
Blue Mountains and Hawkesbury Priority management siteActive Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Hawkesbury, Lithgow City, Penrith, The Hills Shire 
Southern Highlands Priority management siteActive Goulburn Mulwaree, Kiama, Shellharbour, Shoalhaven, Upper Lachlan Shire, Wingecarribee, Wollondilly, Wollongong 
Southern Tablelands Priority management siteActive Snowy Monaro Regional 
Southern Coastal Forests Priority management siteActive Bega Valley, Eurobodalla, Snowy Monaro Regional 
NSW – State-wide Contributing site (other)Active  

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.