Koala conservation initiatives

Koala

You may be surprised to know that koalas live in many of the urbanised areas of our region. Koalas can also be seen in our parks and nature reserves, in trees along road verges and in school playgrounds. If you are not sure where to find a koala, try visiting your local park or:

  • John Oxley Reserve, Murrumba Downs
  • Old Petrie Town, Whiteside
  • Chelsea Street Reserve, Rothwell
  • Kurwongbah Park Koala Nature Refuge, Petrie
  • Whiteside Park Koala Nature Refuge, Whiteside

You can get involved in koala conservation activities by:

  • being a responsible animal owner by being alert to koalas on your property and always restrain your dog when koalas are present, and always walk your dog on a lead unless in a designated off leash area
  • report sick or injured koalas
  • get involved in conservation and restoration activities in your local area - become a Bushcare volunteer.

The Living with Wildlife video highlights the work council is doing to enhance wildlife habitat across the region.

Watch the video

Council supports the region’s koalas through a koala conservation program, which includes:

Koala nature refuges

Council has set aside more than 280 hectares of land for koala habitat, through establishing koala nature refuges, a class of protected area under the Queensland Nature Conservation Act 1992.

The following Council reserves are declared koala nature refuges and are subject to strict conservation agreements between Council and the Department of Environment and Science:

  • Whiteside Road Park, Whiteside (2.4ha)
  • Brian Burke Reserve, Samford Valley (268ha)
  • Kurwongbah Park, Petrie (12ha).

Koala habitat restoration projects

Council carries out koala habitat restoration projects aimed at increasing the amount and quality of koala habitat in the region. Projects underway or delivered include:

  • on-going maintenance across North Ridge Circuit, North Lakes
  • on-going maintenance at Sir Dapper Drive Park, Burpengary
  • Brian Burke Reserve, Samford Valley - 2,060 koala habitat trees and 1,800 shrubs and grasses planted to expand the available koala habitat within and increase connectivity across the reserve
  • North Ridge Circuit, North Lakes - 1,200 koala habitat trees and 1,000 shrubs and grasses planted in a key wildlife movement corridor to increase koala habitat and safe movement opportunities
  • Sir Dapper Drive Park, Burpengary - 994 tube stock planted that include koala habitat trees, shrubs and grasses to expand the available koala habitat within and increase connectivity across the reserve.

Urban koala tree project

The Urban koala tree project is a collaborative research project between Council and the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC), with assistance from the Queensland Government to deliver small growing gum trees, Eucalyptus kabiana (Mt Beerwah mallee) suitable for use in urban areas.

Eucalyptus kabiana are listed as Vulnerable under the Nature Conservation Act 1992. The species is endemic to the Glasshouse Mountains on the Sunshine Coast. Within their endemic range they usually grow to a 5 metre high Mallee, and rarely grow to a small tree with a maximum height of 10m. 

In 2016, USC, under a research permit, provided Council with 95 E. kabiana saplings. These saplings were planted across 20 parks and reserves throughout the Moreton Bay region. Since their establishment, Council has conducted annual monitoring of the E. kabiana at the trial sites.

Some key observation from Council’s monitoring over the 2017-2019 period:

  • Eucalyptus kabiana have exhibited two types of growth form, Mallee and Tree.
  • Heights of the E. kabiana varied from 4-7m.

Council will continue to monitor the growth habits and health of the E. kabiana for an additional two years. 

Koala conservation partnership project

The Moreton Bay Koala conservation partnership project was initiated to help secure the long-term sustainability of koala populations in the region.

The project aligns activities to achieve optimal investment in koala conservation. Project outcomes include mapping, development guidelines, enhancement of existing koala habitat and reinstatement of linkages between habitat patches; koala-friendly fencing and road crossing retrofits; koala fodder plantations for carers; covenants to secure the on-ground investment; wild dog control measures, and education and awareness programs.

Review the Koalas fact sheet(PDF, 158KB) for further information.

Koala chlamydia vaccine research

Council is a foundation funding partner with the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) in the research, development and initial field trials of a chlamydia vaccine for koalas. Chlamydia is a serious threat, with 40 percent of all koalas presented to wildlife hospitals showing chronic symptoms of the disease which can lead to blindness, infertility and death.

Koalas that were previously being monitored as part of Peninsular Rail Line (the Moreton Bay Rail Link project) were included in the koala chlamydia vaccine field trials, under phase one of the project. Results from the trial indicate that the chlamydial disease prevalence of this population decreased from around 28% to less than 1%, which is a promising sign.

USC is continuing development of the koala chlamydia vaccine with Council's support to implement carry out field trials throughout the region, under phase two of the project.

Wild dog management

Wild dogs are known to be a significant threat to koala populations across South East Queensland. Council has an extensive wild dog management program.

Koala rescue

For assistance and advice regarding koala rescue or care refer to:

If a dog is harassing a koala, contact Council.