Revegetating Koala Habitat - Central Coast Koala Management Area

This fact sheet describes koala populations in this region and how to regenerate the variety of habitats they use.

Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus)

There are many koala populations in the Central Coast Koala Management Area (KMA 2), which extends from Newcastle in the north to Wollongong/Shellharbour in the south

Koala populations are located around Campbelltown, the Blue Mountains, Lower Hunter Valley, Brisbane Water National Park, Gosford, Woy Woy, Wollemi National Park, the Colo River area, Yengo National Park, the Canyonleigh area, and the Wingecarribee and Wollondilly River areas. Scattered populations also occur in other areas.

This KMA has extremely varied habitat types, from coastal lowlands to the Blue Mountains hinterland and the Southern Highlands. It includes a high diversity of koala feed tree species.

Koalas in this KMA often prefer moist valleys and gullies, but they also move along cliff edges, and use drier ridges, slopes, and rock caves on hot days.

Map of Central Coast Koala Management Area.

Image: Map showing the extent of the Central Coast Koala Management Area (KMA),
with national parks, state forests, major waterways and roads.

Threats

Koalas and koala habitat in KMA 2 are threatened by:

  • habitat clearing and fragmentation due to development along the coast
  • vehicle strike and domestic dog attack
  • high-intensity or high-frequency fires cause koala mortality and temporarily eliminate food sources
  • encroachment of rainforest species into eucalypt-dominated koala habitat, which can smother mature eucalypts and inhibit growth of seedlings
  • dense growth of weeds, such as lantana, can inhibit koala movement
  • disease, particularly chlamydia
  • dieback across a range of plant species due to climate changes, bell miners and insects
  • potential negative impact of myrtle rust on eucalypts
  • potential impact of sea level rise.

Restoration of habitat

Habitat restoration aims to reduce threats to koalas, increase habitat and help conserve koala populations.

Read our Koala habitat revegetation guidelines for evidence-based recommendations and best-practice methods for restoring koala habitat.

Plant spacing can vary depending on the vegetation community you aim to establish (e.g. open woodland, open forest). Trees should be planted far enough apart to have good tree form or lateral branches and to allow enough light through for native grasses, shrubs and ferns to thrive.

Some tips for planting:

  • plant trees 8–10 metres apart (150 trees/hectare)
  • tree spacing less than 8 metres should be avoided to ensure shade-intolerant understorey plants can thrive and provide habitat for other animals
  • plant shrubs 3–5 metres apart (400–625 shrubs/hectare), depending on the size of shrubs
  • spacing for groundcover varies and can be anywhere from 1 to 6 plants per square metre
  • density of trees and shrubs can vary from 400–1000 per hectare.

Koalas use a broad range of tree species for food, shelter, rest and socialising.

Koalas usually feed within trees of the Eucalyptus genus, but they use many non-eucalypt species for shelter and sometimes feed on trees from genera such as:

  • Melaleuca – paperbark/tea tree
  • Acacia – wattle
  • Allocasuarina – she oak.

We recommend you plant a range of high-, significant- and occasional-use tree species from the Recommended tree species list.

Not all species will be relevant for all sites.

When you choose trees to plant, consider whether:

  • species are locally native
  • species are suitable for your site in terms of landscape position, such as near a creek, on a slope or ridge
  • you have chosen a mix of species that koalas will use for food, shelter and social activities
  • you have included shrubs and groundcover species as well as tree species.

Tree species lists

These tree lists contain recommended tree species for koala habitat within KMA 2. The lists align with local government areas located within this KMA:

Central coast

  • Bayside
  • Blacktown
  • Blue Mountains
  • Burwood
  • Camden
  • Campbelltown
  • Canada Bay
  • Canterbury–Bankstown
  • Central Coast
  • Cessnock
  • City of Parramatta
  • Cumberland
  • Fairfield
  • Georges River
  • Hawkesbury
  • Hornsby
  • Hunters Hill
  • Inner West
  • Ku-Ring-Gai
  • Lake Macquarie
  • Lane Cove
  • Liverpool
  • Mosman
  • Muswellbrook
  • Newcastle
  • North Sydney
  • Northern Beaches
  • Penrith
  • Randwick
  • Ryde
  • Singleton
  • Strathfield
  • Sutherland Shire
  • Sydney
  • The Hills Shire
  • Waverley
  • Willoughby
  • Wollondilly
  • Woollahra

South coast

  • Shellharbour
  • Wollongong

Northwest Slopes

  • Upper Hunter

Central and Southern Tablelands

  • Wingecarribee
Common name Species name
High preferred use
White box Eucalyptus albens
Blakely’s red gum Eucalyptus blakelyi
Coast grey box Eucalyptus bosistoana
Large-fruited grey box Eucalyptus canaliculata
Monkey gum Eucalyptus cypellocarpa
Woollybutt Eucalyptus longifolia
Yellow box Eucalyptus melliodora
Tallowwood Eucalyptus microcorys
Grey box Eucalyptus moluccana
Parramatta red gum Eucalyptus parramattensis
Small-fruited grey gum Eucalyptus propinqua
Grey gum Eucalyptus punctata
Swamp mahogany Eucalyptus robusta
Forest red gum Eucalyptus tereticornis
High use
Beyer’s ironbark Eucalyptus beyeriana
River red gum Eucalyptus camaldulensis
Mountain blue gum Eucalyptus deanei
White stringybark Eucalyptus globoidea
Flooded gum Eucalyptus grandis
Craven grey box Eucalyptus largeana
Grey ironbark Eucalyptus paniculata
White-topped box Eucalyptus quadrangulata
Significant use
Forest oak Allocasuarina torulosa
Smooth-barked apple Angophora costata
Yellow bloodwood Corymbia eximia
Red bloodwood Corymbia gummifera
Bangalay Eucalyptus botryoides
Narrow-leaved ironbark Eucalyptus crebra
Broad-leaved red ironbark Eucalyptus fibrosa
Stringybark Eucalyptus oblonga
Sydney peppermint Eucalyptus piperita
Narrow-leaved scribbly gum Eucalyptus racemosa
Red mahogany Eucalyptus resinifera
Sydney blue gum Eucalyptus saligna
Large-fruited red mahogany Eucalyptus scias
Hard-leaved scribbly gum Eucalyptus sclerophylla
Scribbly gum Eucalyptus signata
Ribbon gum Eucalyptus viminalis
Turpentine Syncarpia glomulifera
Occasional use
Black she-oak Allocasuarina littoralis
Narrow-leaved apple Angophora bakeri
Rough-barked apple Angophora floribunda
Swamp oak Casuarina glauca
Spotted gum Corymbia maculata
White mahogany Eucalyptus acmenoides
Blue-leaved stringybark Eucalyptus agglomerata
Cabbage gum Eucalyptus amplifolia
Camfield’s stringybark Eucalyptus camfieldii
Brown stringybark Eucalyptus capitellata
Thick-leaved mahogany Eucalyptus carnea
Yertchuk Eucalyptus consideniana
Narrow-leaved or Thin-leaved stringybark Eucalyptus eugenioides
Slaty red gum Eucalyptus glaucina
Broad-leaved scribbly gum Eucalyptus haemastoma
Eucalyptus imitans Eucalyptus imitans
Red stringybark Eucalyptus macrorhyncha
Brittle gum Eucalyptus michaeliana
Blackbutt Eucalyptus pilularis
Grey ironbark Eucalyptus siderophloia
Mugga ironbark Eucalyptus sideroxylon
Silvertop ash Eucalyptus sieberi
Narrow-leaved stringybark Eucalyptus sparsifolia
Scaly bark Eucalyptus squamosa
Bastard white mahogany Eucalyptus umbra
Broad-leaved paperbark Melaleuca quinquenervia
Common name Species name
High preferred use
Monkey gum Eucalyptus cypellocarpa
White stringybark Eucalyptus globoidea
Woollybutt Eucalyptus longifolia
Maiden’s blue gum Eucalyptus maidenii
Grey gum Eucalyptus punctata
Forest red gum Eucalyptus tereticornis
High use
Coast grey box Eucalyptus bosistoana
Yertchuk Eucalyptus consideniana
Narrow-leaved or Thin-leaved stringybark Eucalyptus eugenioides
Mugga or red ironbark Eucalyptus tricarpa
Significant use
Messmate Eucalyptus obliqua
Sydney blue gum Eucalyptus saligna
Occasional use
Black she-oak Allocasuarina littoralis
Rough-barked apple Angophora floribunda
Red bloodwood Corymbia gummifera
Spotted gum Corymbia maculata
Blue-leaved stringybark Eucalyptus agglomerata
Blue box Eucalyptus baueriana
River peppermint Eucalyptus elata
Brown barrel Eucalyptus fastigata
Yellow stringybark Eucalyptus muelleriana
Grey ironbark Eucalyptus paniculata
Blackbutt Eucalyptus pilularis
Sydney peppermint Eucalyptus piperita
Hard-leaved scribbly gum Eucalyptus sclerophylla
Silvertop ash Eucalyptus sieberi
Ribbon gum Eucalyptus viminalis
Common name Species name
High preferred use
White box Eucalyptus albens
Cabbage gum Eucalyptus amplifolia
Blakeley’s red gum Eucalyptus blakelyi
River red gum Eucalyptus camaldulensis
Monkey gum Eucalyptus cypellocarpa
Brittle gum Eucalyptus mannifera
Grey gum Eucalyptus punctata
Forest red gum Eucalyptus tereticornis
Ribbon gum Eucalyptus viminalis
High use
White stringybark Eucalyptus globoidea
Inland scribbly gum Eucalyptus rossii
Hard-leaved scribbly gum Eucalyptus sclerophylla
Significant use
Blue-leaved stringybark Eucalyptus agglomerata
Coast grey box Eucalyptus bosistoana
Apple box Eucalyptus bridgesiana
Fuzzy box Eucalyptus conica
Mountain gum Eucalyptus dalrympleana
Tumbledown red gum Eucalyptus dealbata
Broad-leaved peppermint Eucalyptus dives
River peppermint Eucalyptus elata
Narrow-leaved or Thin-leaved stringybark Eucalyptus eugenioides
Broad-leaved red ironbark Eucalyptus fibrosa
Bundy Eucalyptus goniocalyx
Red stringybark Eucalyptus macrorhyncha
Maiden’s blue gum Eucalyptus maidenii
Yellow box Eucalyptus melliodora
Western grey box Eucalyptus microcarpa
Large-flowered bundy Eucalyptus nortonii
Messmate Eucalyptus obliqua
Stringybark Eucalyptus oblonga
Grey ironbark Eucalyptus paniculata
White Sally or Snow gum Eucalyptus pauciflora
Sydney peppermint Eucalyptus piperita
Red box Eucalyptus polyanthemos
White-topped box Eucalyptus quadrangulata
Narrow-leaved peppermint Eucalyptus radiata
Candlebark Eucalyptus rubida
Mugga ironbark Eucalyptus sideroxylon
Silvertop ash Eucalyptus sieberi
Common name Species name
High preferred use
White box Eucalyptus albens
Blakely’s red gum Eucalyptus blakelyi
River red gum Eucalyptus camaldulensis
Large-fruited grey gum Eucalyptus canalucilata
Dirty gum Eucalyptus chloroclada
Fuzzy box Eucalyptus conica
Coolibah Eucalyptus coolabah
Tumbledown red gum Eucalyptus dealbata
Dwyer’s red gum Eucalyptus dwyeri
Peppermint Eucalyptus exserta
Yellow box Eucalyptus melliodora
Western grey box Eucalyptus microcarpa
Grey box Eucalyptus moluccana
Parramatta red gum Eucalyptus parramattensis
White Sally or Snow gum Eucalyptus pauciflora
Narrow-leaved grey box Eucalyptus pilligaensis
Bimble box or Poplar box Eucalyptus populnea
Grey gum Eucalyptus punctata
High use
Narrow-leaved ironbark Eucalyptus crebra
Black box Eucalyptus largiflorens
Silver-leaved ironbark Eucalyptus melanophloia
Orange gum Eucalyptus prava
Significant use
Rough-barked apple Angophora floribunda
White cypress pine Callitris glaucophylla
Broad-leaved stringybark Eucalyptus caliginosa
Silvertop stringybark Eucalyptus laevopinea
Red stringybark Eucalyptus macrorhyncha
Mugga ironbark Eucalyptus sideroxylon
Occassional use
Belah Casuarina cristata
Apple box Eucalyptus bridgesiana
Drooping ironbark Eucalyptus caleyi
Mountain gum Eucalyptus dalrympleana
Broad-leaved red ironbark Eucalyptus fibrosa
Bundy Eucalyptus goniocalyx
Brittle gum Eucalyptus mannifera
Forest ribbon gum Eucalyptus nobilis
Red box Eucalyptus polyanthemos
White topped box Eucalyptus quadrangulata
Ribbon gum Eucalyptus viminalis

Useful resources

These resources provide further information about koala food trees across New South Wales, management plans and strategies local councils have in place to help conserve koala populations.

  • Eco Logical Australia 2015, Bingara Gorge Koala Plan of Management, prepared by Eco Logical Australia for Lend Lease Communities Wilton.
  • Madani G 2014, Preliminary investigation into the status of koalas in the Upper Wingecarribee Shire, NSW with recommendations for future work, prepared by George Madani on behalf of the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage and Wingecarribee Shire Council.
  • Philips S 2018, Campbelltown Comprehensive Koala Plan of Management, prepared by Biolink for Campbelltown City Council (revised draft).