How to get involved

There is a lot you can do to protect koalas and other native wildlife, from reporting a koala sighting to joining a wildlife rehabilitation group.

There are many opportunities to get involved in helping save our koalas and other native wildlife. You may want to protect koala habitat on your land, report on koala sightings and health, volunteer as a wildlife rehabilitator or join a community conservation group.

You can also manage your dog to help stop dog attacks and drive carefully through koala habitat to reduce the chance of hitting a koala.

You can join or support a wildlife rehabilitation group

The NSW Koala Country website brings together people and organisations working on koala conservation activities, providing resources and opportunities for the community to get involved in protecting our koalas. It provides a list of organisations that are dedicated to the rescue and rehabilitation of sick, injured and orphaned koalas in your area, along with other koala conservation groups that need your help.

I Spy Koala appYou can report koala sightings

You can contribute your koala sightings to the NSW Government's BioNet Atlas database using the 'I Spy Koala' app (visit the Apple or Google app stores to download the I Spy Koala app.). All information in the database is made publicly available through the NSW Government's Sharing and Enabling Environmental Data (SEED) portal.

We encourage you to continue to report any injured and sick koalas directly to your local licensed wildlife rehabilitation group.

You can also participate in the Community Wildlife Survey reporting not only on sightings of koalas and 9 other animals, but also on their health and perceived threats. Data from the survey can help identify sites for priority action as well as forming part of koala monitoring across the State.

You can help sick and injured koalas

If you see a sick or injured koala, you should contact a licensed rehabilitation group or call us on 131 555. The NSW Wildlife Council can also help you locate authorised volunteer wildlife rehabilitator.

Signs of a sick koala can include infected or inflamed eyes (conjunctivitis), a wet and dirty bottom (cystitis) and sitting at the base of a tree for an extended period of time.

When a koala is on the ground injured or sitting at the base of a tree for an extended period of time:

  • if it is safe to do so, approach the koala from behind and place a washing basket (or similar item with ventilation) over the koala
  • put something heavy on top of the basket to stop the koala moving away and climbing a tree
  • ensure the koala is left in a quiet and stress-free environment
  • call a local wildlife rescue group or vet as soon as possible
  • do not try to move the koala other than out of harms' way, as relocating the koala to a new area can sometimes do more harm than good.

When a koala is stuck in a fence:

  • do not attempt to assist the koala
  • provide some shade for the koala if it is in the sun
  • call a local wildlife rescue group, or vet as soon as possible.

What else can you do to help koalas?

There are actions we can take, individually and as a community to reduce some of the major threats to koalas and keep them safe.

Dogs can seriously harm koalas.

  • Keep dogs on leads in areas where there are koalas. Be aware that koalas spend more time moving between trees on the ground during mating season (generally September-February).
  • You can work with local interest groups to investigate fencing recreation areas for dogs or consider establishing dog-free properties in koala population areas.
  • Report stray or roaming dogs to Council Rangers.

When driving, stick to speed limits, be vigilant near koala crossings and be aware of signposts warning that koalas are in the area.

If you see 'floppy fences' (fences with a curved top) protecting a koala community from the road with holes or openings or branches touching the fence, please report it to Roads and Maritime Services on 13 22 13.

Your local council may be undertaking tree planting initiatives that will support koala communities, such as corridor restoration through a Bushcare group.

Koalas prefer particular feed trees in different parts of New South Wales. Therefore, it is important to remember to use locally sourced koala feed tree stock and to plant near existing koala habitat with a permanent water source.

You can find a list of koala food trees suitable for your region in A review of koala tree use across New South Wales, which identified evidence of koala use for 137 tree species across the State.