Restoring Koala Habitat - Far West and South-west Koala Management Area

This fact sheet describes what little is known about the small scattered koala populations that inhabit this region.

Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) in a treeThe Far West and South-west Koala Management Area (KMA 7) extends west from the Hay, Ivanhoe and Wilcannia districts to encompass the western-most part of New South Wales. Most of this region is unsuitable for koalas.

Koala populations that do exist in the far west are small, scattered, low-density and mostly restricted to riparian zones and floodplains. A population is known to live in the Murray Valley National Park in the Riverina, and historical records exist for koalas around Wilcannia and Ivanhoe.

Map of Far West and South West Koala Management Area.

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


The most likely threats to the little-studied koala populations and their habitat in KMA 7 are:

  • climate change, drought and heatwaves that lead to dehydration, heat stress and increased vulnerability to disease and death
  • tree die-back and changes in leaf chemistry linked to climate change
  • vehicle strike
  • habitat clearing and fragmentation
  • almost complete lack of information on koala distribution, abundance, tree use and threats across this KMA.

Restoration of habitat

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

Read our Koala habitat restoration guidelines (the Guidelines) for evidence-based recommendations and best-practice methods for restoring koala habitat.

Choosing an approach

Before you choose a restoration approach, such as natural regeneration, assisted regeneration, reintroductions or a combination of these, carefully assess your site and identify:

  • which plant community you aim to reinstate
  • whether the site has existing native vegetation on it. If native vegetation exists, try to facilitate natural regeneration before planting or direct seeding. The Guidelines have more information.

Plant spacing can vary depending on the vegetation community you aim to establish (e.g. woodland, open forest). Trees should be planted far enough apart to have good tree form or lateral branches.

Some tips for planting:

  • plant a mixture of trees and shrubs about 6 metres apart, 7 metres between rows (200 stems/hectare)
  • spacing for groundcover varies and can be anywhere from 1 to 6 plants per square metre
  • plant near waterways as koala populations in this KMA are almost entirely restricted to riparian zones.

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:

  • Lophostemon – swamp box, swamp turpentine
  • Melaleuca – paperbark/tea tree
  • Acacia – wattle
  • Allocasuarina – she oak
  • Callitris – conifer/cypress.

We recommend you plant a range of high-, significant- and occasional-use tree species from our 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 7. The lists align with local government areas located within this KMA:

Far West

  • Balranald
  • Broken Hill
  • Central Darling
  • Greater Hume Shire
  • Lockhart
  • Unincorporated
  • Wentworth

Central and Southern Tablelands

  • Albury City


  • Berrigan
  • Edward River
  • Murray River
  • Murrumbidgee

Far West and Riverina

  • Federation
  • Hay
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
River red gum Eucalyptus camaldulensis
High use
White box Eucalyptus albens
Blakely’s red gum Eucalyptus blakelyi
Coolibah Eucalyptus coolabah
Tumbledown red gum Eucalyptus dealbata
Black box Eucalyptus largiflorens
Bimble box Eucalyptus populnea
Significant use
White cypress pine Callitris glaucophylla
Silver-leaved ironbark Eucalyptus melanophloia
Yellow box Eucalyptus melliodora
Western grey box Eucalyptus microcarpa
Occasional use
Rough-barked apple Angophora floribunda
Belah Casuarina cristata
Dirty gum Eucalyptus chloroclada
Narrow-leaved ironbark Eucalyptus crebra
Gum coolibah Eucalyptus intertexta
Grey box Eucalyptus moluccana
Narrow-leaved grey box Eucalyptus pilligaensis
Mugga ironbark Eucalyptus sideroxylon
Wilga Geijera parviflora
Common name Species name
High preferred use
River red gum Eucalyptus camaldulensis
High use
Black box Eucalyptus largiflorens
Yellow box Eucalyptus melliodora
Western grey box Eucalyptus microcarpa
Significant use
White cypress pine Callitris glaucophylla
Bimble box Eucalyptus populnea
Occasional use
Belah Casuarina cristata
White box Eucalyptus albens
Gum coolibah Eucalyptus intertexta

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.