Koala protection

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Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus)

Koala Conservation Program

Few urbanised areas in Australia are as privileged as the Moreton Bay region to still have koalas. Koalas can often be seen throughout the region in both urban and bushland areas.
Moreton Bay Regional Council has implemented a koala conservation program, made up of a suite of projects and actions to protect koalas and their habitat.

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 Heritage Protection:

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

Koala Habitat Restoration Projects

Council is carrying out several koala habitat restoration projects, aimed at increasing the amount and quality of koala habitat in the region. Current projects include;

  • Brian Burke Reserve, Samford Valley - 2060 koala habitat trees and 1800 shrubs and grasses planted in 2016. This project aims to expand the available koala habitat within and increase connectivity across the reserve.
  • North Ridge Circuit, North Lakes - 1200 koala habitat trees and 1000 shrubs and grasses planted in 2016 in a key wildlife movement corridor to increase koala habitat and safe movement opportunities.

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Urban Koala Project

The Urban Koala Project is a collaborative research project between Council and the Sunshine Coast University, with assistance from the Queensland Government.

Koala Conservation Partnership Project

In 2009, the Moreton Bay Koala Conservation Partnership Project was initiated to help secure the long term sustainability of koala populations in region.

Project partners include MBRC, SEQ Water, SEQ Catchments, Energex, the Department of Environment and Resource Management and the Department of Transport and Main Roads.

This project focuses on the alignment of activities in order 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; covenants to secure the on-ground investment; wild dog control measures, and education and awareness programs.

Milestones achieved through the project so far:

  • Identification of priority areas for future koala restoration projects;
  • Revegetation of key koala habitat areas;
  • Strengthening of communication and collaboration between project partners and community groups;
  • Collaboration with DTMR on retrofitting road infrastructure to minimise car hits on main roads;
  • Identification of key sites for local road retrofitting to minimise car hits; and
  • Adoption of a Koala Conservation Policy.

On-going and future projects:

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  • Finalisation of a Koala Conservation Strategy;
  • On-going retrofitting local roads to minimise car hits;
  • Revegetation of key habitat priority areas; and
  • Up to date community education on koalas

Koala Chlamydia Vaccine and Wild Dogs Captures

Through the Moreton Bay Rail project, Council along with the Queensland Government and other partners have implemented programs to address the two biggest threats to koalas in the region - chlamydia and wild dogs.

Council is a foundation funding partner, working with the University of the Sunshine Coast 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 being tagged and tracked as part of the Moreton Bay Rail Link project are being administered the vaccine before being released back into the wild.

Wild dogs are also known to be a significant threat to koala populations across South East Queensland. Council has an extensive wild dog management program, which to date has resulted in the removal of more than 20 wild dogs from the Moreton Bay Rail Project area.

Koala Rescue

Get involved in koala conservation

  • Plant and retain gum trees. Contact Council for information about species suitable for growing in your area, and for advice about managing your property for koala conservation see Council's Land for Wildlife program.
  • Always restrain your dog when koalas are present - at least one koala is killed by a dog every week in South East Queensland. Do not allow your dog to roam, especially at night.
  • Report sick or injured koalas - the region has several koala care groups operating throughout the different districts to help treat and transport sick or injured koalas.
  • Become a Bushcare volunteer - get involved in conservation and restoration activities in your area as a member of one of the many volunteer bushcare groups active throughout the region.

Koala conservation groups

Pine Rivers Koala Care Association Inc

Meets: 7.00pm on the fourth Thursday of each month
Where: Pendicup Place Community Centre - 365 Samsonvale Road, Warner

Moreton Bay Koala Rescue Inc

Meets: 7.00pm on the third Wednesday of each month
Where: Caboolture Region Environmental Education Centre (CREEC) - 150 Rowley Road, Burpengary

Koala Action Inc

Meets: 10:00am on the third Saturday of each month
Where: Caboolture Region Environmental Education Centre (CREEC) - 150 Rowley Road, Burpengary

Where to find a koala

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

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