Koalas across the Moreton Bay Region

Koala breeding season, drive with care

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

Koala breeding season

From July to December each year, koalas are actively looking for a mate and will be often seen crossing roads throughout the region. It is important during this time that residents are mindful of speed restrictions, particularly in areas adjacent to bushland habitat.

Council and local koala care groups install wildlife signage throughout the region to alert residents to areas where koalas are often seen. Signage will include VMS flashing signs as well as yellow ‘recent sighting’ signage.

Injured wildlife can be unpredictable and it is recommended that trained wildlife carers assist with rescue of injured wildlife, including koalas. For assistance and advice contact:

Koala conservation initiatives

You can get involved in koala conservation activities by:

  • being a responsible animal owner - always walk your dog on a lead unless in a designated off-leash area.
  • keeping alert to the presence of koalas on your property.
  • reporting sick or injured koalas.
  • participating in conservation and restoration activities in your local area.

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 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 on-ground investment
  • wild dog control measures
  • education and awareness programs.

Koala nature refuges

Council has ensured the protection of more than 280 hectares of land for koala habitat as Koala Nature Refuges (KNR). Koala Nature Refuges are a class of protected area under the Queensland Nature Conservation Act 1992 and are subject to conservation agreements between Council and the Department of Environment and Science.

Visit the KNRs at:

  • 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, quality, and connectivity of koala habitat in the region. Habitat restoration usually involved large-scale weed control and planting koala food and habitat trees. After plants are in the ground and establishing well, Council continues to maintain the project areas.

Projects delivered or underway include at:

  • North Ridge Circuit, North Lakes
  • Sir Dapper Drive Park, Burpengary
  • Brian Burke Reserve, Samford Valley
  • Bickle Road, Murrumba Downs
  • Nelson Road, Joyner
  • Walkers Road, Morayfield
  • Sylvester Drive, Kallangur.

Urban koala tree project

The Urban koala tree trial 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 and is endemic to the Glasshouse Mountains. Within their endemic range they usually grow to five metres high, rarely exceeding 10 metres as a small tree. 

In 2016, USC provided Council with 95 Eucalyptus kabiana saplings to be planted across 20 reserves throughout the Moreton Bay Region. Since their establishment, Council has conducted annual monitoring of the Eucalyptus kabiana at the trial sites.

Some key observation from Council’s monitoring program include:

  • Eucalyptus kabiana have exhibited two types of growth form, Mallee and Tree
  • Some trees have exceeded the usual growth range for the species.

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 percent to less than one percent, 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 Injured wildlife.