Sadly, with their homes cleared, individuals are vulnerable to be killed by cars or dogs as urban areas encroach on remnant habitat, and climate change is expected to further shrink the suitable habitat available.
With their slow movements, Koalas are also susceptible to bushfires, and can be affected by dehydration during heat waves. Chlamydia is also a significant threat and is more prevalent in stressed populations.
In 2022 the status of Koalas in Queensland and NSW moved from vulnerable to ‘endangered’.
What’s Bush Heritage doing?
We have Koalas on both our Carnarvon Station Reserve and Goonderoo Reserves and they've also been spotted at Currumbin Valley Reserve (all are in Queensland). As staff and volunteers have discovered, Koalas are not always easy to spot!
Despite their size and unmistakable features, they can climb to some of the highest, thinnest tree branches where their silhouettes are broken up by waving foliage and a glary skyline. Combined with their stillness and sleepy habits, they can easily go unnoticed by people working below.
At Goonderoo, we're now rolling out a dedicated monitoring program to pay close attention to the health and dynamics of the local Koala population and their habitat. We also help conserve Koalas by managing the threat of invasive species (predators and weeds) which degrade habitat.
Bush Heritage is very fortunate to have found strong partners in this work. The Fitzroy Basin Association has been extremely generous in funding the purchase of extra monitoring equipment, to be used not only on the Koala surveys but regular surveillance of predator activity. The Nature Refuge Landowner Grant will cover the cost of engaging a Koala expert to support the design of the monitoring program.
* R. Lydekker A Handbook of the Marsupulia and Montremata. London. H Allen & Co, 1894.
** Roger Martin & Kathrine Handasyde. THE KOALA Natural History, Conservation & Management, Sydney. UNSW Press. 1999. p. 23