Koala Conservation

The City is working hard to conserve koalas across the entire Gold Coast with the newly developed and endorsed Koala Conservation Plan for the City. This Koala Conservation Plan builds on the previous experience and learnings of the Elanora-Currumbin Waters, East Coomera and Burleigh Ridge koala conservation plans, and identifies informed and targeted actions to mitigate key threats to koalas across the city.


Community involvement is essential to ensure the long-term survival of koala on the Gold Coast. You can get involved by:

  • becoming a member of the Koala Friends Program
  • completing a Koala Sighting Form to report a koala sighting
  • calling 1300 GOLDCOAST (1300 465 326) to report a koala sighting
  • sharing your koala story and uploading photos here.

If you see a koala that needs rescuing, call the Wildcare Australia 24 hour hotline on 07 5527 2444.

What to look out for to know if a koala needs rescuing:

  • being stuck on a fence in a hazardous situation, for example, beside a busy road
  • observed sitting or sleeping on the ground for an extended period
  • sitting in the same tree for more than 48 hours
  • physical signs of injury, for example, limping, inability to climb, blood patches on fur, etc.
  • any visibly missing fur
  • a 'wet' or 'dirty' reddish stained rump
  • conjunctivitis (red, swollen, weepy) eyes.

If you are unsure if a koala requires rescue, please call WILDCARE. Advice can be provided over the phone and a record of the koala's location made for further observation or rescue.



The City is working hard to conserve koalas across the entire Gold Coast with the newly developed and endorsed Koala Conservation Plan for the City. This Koala Conservation Plan builds on the previous experience and learnings of the Elanora-Currumbin Waters, East Coomera and Burleigh Ridge koala conservation plans, and identifies informed and targeted actions to mitigate key threats to koalas across the city.


Community involvement is essential to ensure the long-term survival of koala on the Gold Coast. You can get involved by:

  • becoming a member of the Koala Friends Program
  • completing a Koala Sighting Form to report a koala sighting
  • calling 1300 GOLDCOAST (1300 465 326) to report a koala sighting
  • sharing your koala story and uploading photos here.

If you see a koala that needs rescuing, call the Wildcare Australia 24 hour hotline on 07 5527 2444.

What to look out for to know if a koala needs rescuing:

  • being stuck on a fence in a hazardous situation, for example, beside a busy road
  • observed sitting or sleeping on the ground for an extended period
  • sitting in the same tree for more than 48 hours
  • physical signs of injury, for example, limping, inability to climb, blood patches on fur, etc.
  • any visibly missing fur
  • a 'wet' or 'dirty' reddish stained rump
  • conjunctivitis (red, swollen, weepy) eyes.

If you are unsure if a koala requires rescue, please call WILDCARE. Advice can be provided over the phone and a record of the koala's location made for further observation or rescue.



  • Happy holidays and thanks Koala Friends

    about 2 months ago
    Mandy


    We had 132 community members join the Koala Friends program in 2018, bringing the city wide total to over 718 friends who are active or interested in koala conservation.

    Community involvement is essential in mitigating major threats to koalas such as road trauma, disease, domestic dog attack, habitat fragmentation and bushfires. Whether big or small, your efforts help to ensure the long-term survival of the Gold Coast koala population.

    Perhaps some of you have attended koala tree planting days or made your backyards koala friendly, and some of you may be Wildcare members who take sick or injured koalas into...


    We had 132 community members join the Koala Friends program in 2018, bringing the city wide total to over 718 friends who are active or interested in koala conservation.

    Community involvement is essential in mitigating major threats to koalas such as road trauma, disease, domestic dog attack, habitat fragmentation and bushfires. Whether big or small, your efforts help to ensure the long-term survival of the Gold Coast koala population.

    Perhaps some of you have attended koala tree planting days or made your backyards koala friendly, and some of you may be Wildcare members who take sick or injured koalas into your care. All of you are important to koala conservation outcomes and your support and contributions are valued. On behalf of the City, the Vulnerable Species Management Team thanks you.

    We’d also like to reiterate our thanks and congratulations to Joanne Brierley, the recipient of the City’s Koala Friends Environmental award. Jo has not only been a credit to koalas themselves as a carer, but also to the City by contributing koala sighting data, and the community by providing support to numerous outreach events.

    We have some ideas for the program moving into next year that will hopefully allow for more experiences and opportunities for you to contribute to koala conservation. Keep your eye on your email inbox for updates.

    We wish you all a happy holiday season and look forward to seeing you in 2019.

    W: www.gchaveyoursay.com.au/koalas

    E: koalas@goldcoast.qld.gov.au

    P: 07 55828024

    Photo Credit: Mandy Mason – taken March 2018, Burleigh Heads
  • Supporting rehabilitation with fodder plantations

    about 2 months ago
    Tate pyne


    The City of Gold Coast has formed the Merrimac Koala Eucalyptus Plantation agreement with Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. The agreement secures the fodder plantation at Merrimac for a further 15 years ensuring supply to the sanctuary.

    “We are providing the land for $1 a year and will irrigate the site from the adjacent Recycled Water Treatment Plant,’’ said Mayor Tom Tate.

    Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary staff will continue to plant, maintain and harvest trees on the land, delivering leaves to koalas receiving vital care. New extension plantings in the long-standing site will bring the total number of trees to 35,000 and increase...


    The City of Gold Coast has formed the Merrimac Koala Eucalyptus Plantation agreement with Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. The agreement secures the fodder plantation at Merrimac for a further 15 years ensuring supply to the sanctuary.

    “We are providing the land for $1 a year and will irrigate the site from the adjacent Recycled Water Treatment Plant,’’ said Mayor Tom Tate.

    Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary staff will continue to plant, maintain and harvest trees on the land, delivering leaves to koalas receiving vital care. New extension plantings in the long-standing site will bring the total number of trees to 35,000 and increase the plantation size to 118,000 square metres.

    Dr. Michael Pyne said the partnership would ensure certainty for koala food supply until 2032.

    “Our hospital is experiencing a surge in koalas requiring treatment and we require access to more food.”

    “It takes 1,000 trees a year to support one koala,” he said.

    The Currumbin Wildlife Hospital Foundation (CWH) has a number of initiatives to support the Hospital. Here are a few brief messages from them;

    CWH upcoming events and opportunities

    § Hospital Open Day Sunday 23 February 2019

    § Annual Benefit at the Sanctuary ‘ Under the Stars’ Saturday 11 May 2019

    § VIP Hospital Tours

    § Become aFriend of the Hospital

    § Become a Corporate Partner

    § Donate to the CWH Tree to Me Program, to continue to plant eucalypt trees in CWH Plantations

    § Help CWH pave the way for wildlife and order Walkways for Wildlife

    CWH need assistance with raffle items, auction items, social media and special guest appearances to raise funds for koala conservation. If you think you can help, get in touch with them.


  • Are your renovations koala-fied?

    about 2 months ago
    Winter


    Are you getting your back yard in shape for entertaining this summer?

    Perhaps you’ll be entertaining some unexpected visitors.

    Koalas need to regularly move around their home range to visit preferred food and shelter trees, to delineate their territory, as well as for social interaction and breeding. Juvenile koalas may need to disperse for several kilometres to locate a suitable area to establish their own home range so it should come as no surprise if you see them coming across your fence in their travels.

    If you live in a koala priority conservation area, consider incorporating some koala friendly designs...


    Are you getting your back yard in shape for entertaining this summer?

    Perhaps you’ll be entertaining some unexpected visitors.

    Koalas need to regularly move around their home range to visit preferred food and shelter trees, to delineate their territory, as well as for social interaction and breeding. Juvenile koalas may need to disperse for several kilometres to locate a suitable area to establish their own home range so it should come as no surprise if you see them coming across your fence in their travels.

    If you live in a koala priority conservation area, consider incorporating some koala friendly designs into your gardening and renovation plans this summer, or as a minimum, make your backyard koala-safe in the interim. There are a few simple measures available for everyone to consider.

    1. Install koala friendly fencing

    If you’re planning a new fence, install fencing which allows koalas to easily climb out of your yard, especially if you have a dog that spends a lot of time in the yard.

    Koala friendly fencing design features include:

    · thick capping-planks that allow the koala to walk across the top of the fence

    · small gaps between sheeting panels to allow the koala to grip and climb

    2. Plant small trees or sturdy shrubs

    If you’ve got a smooth fence that might be difficult for a koala to grip, consider planting a small tree or shrub close to the fence. This will provide a natural ladder for a koala to climb out of your yard if it crashes your party. An average adult male koala on the Gold Coast can weigh up to as 7-8 kilograms so keep this in mind when choosing a suitable shrub.

    3. Provide a temporary climbing aid

    Provide a stable pole or a plank leaning at no greater than a 60 degree angle back to the top of your fence.

    For a full fact sheet click here.


    Photo Credit: Y. Winter, 2018

  • Koala welfare with our partner Currumbin Wildlife Hospital

    about 2 months ago
    Amanda tz


    From January to November this year, 223 koalas from the Gold Coast area were admitted to Currumbin Wildlife Hospital. Outcomes for koalas admitted to the hospital are grave, with 65 per cent of them deceased and 20 per cent still currently in care. The remaining 15 per cent have been released back into the wild.

    Reason for admission:

    • 7% were bitten by dogs

    40% of all dog bites occurred in September

    • 21% were hit by vehicles

    49% of vehicle strikes occurred in September and October

    • 56 % were diagnosed with disease

    81% of disease diagnosed was Chlamydial disease

    Suburbs with...


    From January to November this year, 223 koalas from the Gold Coast area were admitted to Currumbin Wildlife Hospital. Outcomes for koalas admitted to the hospital are grave, with 65 per cent of them deceased and 20 per cent still currently in care. The remaining 15 per cent have been released back into the wild.

    Reason for admission:

    • 7% were bitten by dogs

    40% of all dog bites occurred in September

    • 21% were hit by vehicles

    49% of vehicle strikes occurred in September and October

    • 56 % were diagnosed with disease

    81% of disease diagnosed was Chlamydial disease

    Suburbs with most koala hospital admissions

    Elanora - 12%

    Helensvale - 11%

    Coomera - 9%

    Tallebudgera - 9%

    Dr. Michael Pyne, Senior Veterinarian at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary Hospital recently commented that “over the previous year, the hospital has treated 400 koalas, compared to 10 years ago when it only treated 30 koalas per year.”

    Photo credit: Amanda Tzannes
  • Koala sightings

    about 2 months ago
    Isabelle


    Data is vital for koala conservation planning and management, none more-so than the sighting records collected by the community. Understanding where and when koalas are on the move helps the City to mitigate the threats and challenges faced by the Gold Coast’s iconic vulnerable species.

    This year, 551 koala sighting records were reported to the City, largely by the community. Of these reports, 26 were ear-tagged koalas (different individuals) meaning they had received care, a health check or were monitored at some time in the past. Reporting also found 9 per cent of our koalas reported had visible back or...


    Data is vital for koala conservation planning and management, none more-so than the sighting records collected by the community. Understanding where and when koalas are on the move helps the City to mitigate the threats and challenges faced by the Gold Coast’s iconic vulnerable species.

    This year, 551 koala sighting records were reported to the City, largely by the community. Of these reports, 26 were ear-tagged koalas (different individuals) meaning they had received care, a health check or were monitored at some time in the past. Reporting also found 9 per cent of our koalas reported had visible back or pouch young,7 per cent of koalas were visibly unwell and 3 per cent of koalas reported were deceased.

    Koalas crossing a road made up 15 per cent of all reports, which had a very strong correlation with the peak of the breeding season in August and September. Nearly half, 47 per cent, of all road crossing sightings were observed within these two months. (All data ranges from January to the end of November)

    Top 5 suburbs for koala sightings:

    1. Elanora - 74

    2. Burleigh Heads - 57

    3. Clagiraba - 54

    4. Tallebudgera - 54

    5. Helensvale - 40

    The busiest months for koala sightings were:

    1. August - 92

    2. September - 86
    (coinciding with the peak of breeding season)

    The City thanks you for all of your sightings. Please continue to report koala sightings any time on 1300 GOLDCOAST (1300 465 326) or submit a koala sighting online.

    Photo Credit: Isabelle Cheyne – taken Sept 2018, Currumbin Waters

  • 20,000 tree milestone at Schusters Park

    3 months ago
    Schuster koala2 16.10.18


    In 2017, the City was awarded an Australian Government 20 Million Trees Program grant to further enhance and expand koala habitat at Schusters Park, Tallebudgera. 20,000 trees have now been installed, ticking off a large milestone for the project.

    Combined with previous initiatives, this brings the total of plants installed at the park to 38,000 with a further 25,000 estimated to be planted over the next two to four years.

    The project is helping to provide linkage between habitat areas for koalas, which is particularly important in the breeding season between July and September when koalas are on the move.

    ...


    In 2017, the City was awarded an Australian Government 20 Million Trees Program grant to further enhance and expand koala habitat at Schusters Park, Tallebudgera. 20,000 trees have now been installed, ticking off a large milestone for the project.

    Combined with previous initiatives, this brings the total of plants installed at the park to 38,000 with a further 25,000 estimated to be planted over the next two to four years.

    The project is helping to provide linkage between habitat areas for koalas, which is particularly important in the breeding season between July and September when koalas are on the move.

    The map below shows completed planting projects (in green) and future planting projects (red) in Schusters Park. The dots marked on the map represent singular koala friendly park trees, which will also double as shade to accompany existing pathways. The crosshatched polygons represent dense plantings. (note: map may not display on mobile devices)


    In addition to the tree plantings, ecological restoration works have continued upstream by the City’s Natural Areas management Unit, whose specialist restoration teams have controlled woody weeds such as Camphor Laurel and Easter Cassia.

    Whilst investments into the park grow more refuge for koalas, it is important for us to assume some responsibility for their conservation too.

    Most koalas do their travelling between trees on the ground between dusk and dawn. Early mornings or late afternoons are also popular times for us to be walking our dogs. A little extra care and awareness of potential encounter periods can go a long way towards a harmonious time-share of the park.

    What can you do?

    By following these simple actions, the risk of your dog injuring or killing a koala can be greatly reduced.

      • Don’t assume your dog is friendly: When approached by an unfamiliar animal a dog may feel threatened and might react in an unexpected manner.
      • Keep your dog under effective control: If you see a koala on the ground in a dog off leash area, please place your dog on a lead until the koala climbs back up a tree and is safe.
      • Train your dog: If you are concerned that your dog might chase a koala, another option is to consider obedience training. This will not only protect koalas but also give you greater control over your dog. Advice on obedience training techniques can be provided by dog training schools in your area.
      • Be prepared to help out: In the unfortunate event your dog comes in contact with a koala it is important that you immediately report the incident to Wildcare Australia Inc. Save the Wildcare telephone number to your contacts (07 5527 2444 ; 24hours) so you are prepared to help a koala to be rescued and transferred to a wildlife hospital for examination and treatment.

    The City will continue to engage school and community groups through more planting events, encouraging locals to play a part in the rehabilitation of the native vegetation, and the responsible use of the multi-purpose park.

    Keep an eye out for upcoming tree planting days on the NaturallyGC program website.

    If you are not already a member, join the Koala Friends Program to keep updated on city wide koala conservation initiatives and get tips on how you can make koala protection part of your day.


    Photo: Saraya Robinson
  • Koala Conversation Community Forums

    5 months ago
    13845 koala conversation mrec nerang

    The City of Gold Coast is hosting a Koala Conservation forum Tuesday, 5 February in Nerang and we invite you to attend this important event.

    The Koala Conversation forum will include a panel of external experts in the field of wildlife rescue, wildlife health and koala ecology, as well as City of Gold Coast officers.

    Building on previous forums, this series will provide an opportunity for the community to engage with experts about the local koala population and hear what the City and partners are doing in working towards a sustainable future for Gold...


    The City of Gold Coast is hosting a Koala Conservation forum Tuesday, 5 February in Nerang and we invite you to attend this important event.

    The Koala Conversation forum will include a panel of external experts in the field of wildlife rescue, wildlife health and koala ecology, as well as City of Gold Coast officers.

    Building on previous forums, this series will provide an opportunity for the community to engage with experts about the local koala population and hear what the City and partners are doing in working towards a sustainable future for Gold Coast koalas.

    Don’t miss this opportunity to:
    • learn more about koala conservation on the Gold Coast
    • find out how you can make a difference for koalas
    • share your koala conservation stories and questions.

    Click here to find a Koala Conversation near you.

    Kind regards,

    Vulnerable Species Management team
    Economy, Planning & Environment
    City of Gold Coast
  • Breeding Season: Increase in Koala Admissions to Currumbin Wildlife Hospital

    6 months ago
    Hospital


    Koalas living in urban areas are more vulnerable to threats posed by barriers, vehicle strikes, dogs, disease and bushfire. Unfortunately during the breeding season the level of threat is elevated due to the increase in koalas dispersing across roads and through residential backyards. The number of Gold Coast koalas that require rescue and veterinary treatment significantly increases over the peak breeding months (Figure 1), July through to January. The three main threats causing the increase are vehicle strikes, disease (chlamydia) and koala-dog interactions.

    Figure 1: Fate of all Gold Coast koalas admitted to Currumbin Wildlife Hospital between 2010...


    Koalas living in urban areas are more vulnerable to threats posed by barriers, vehicle strikes, dogs, disease and bushfire. Unfortunately during the breeding season the level of threat is elevated due to the increase in koalas dispersing across roads and through residential backyards. The number of Gold Coast koalas that require rescue and veterinary treatment significantly increases over the peak breeding months (Figure 1), July through to January. The three main threats causing the increase are vehicle strikes, disease (chlamydia) and koala-dog interactions.

    Figure 1: Fate of all Gold Coast koalas admitted to Currumbin Wildlife Hospital between 2010 and 2018.

    Veterinary care and wildlife rescue services for Gold Coast koalas are predominantly carried out by not-for-profit and volunteer organisations including Wildcare Australia Inc. and Currumbin Wildlife Hospital. Wildcare Australia Inc. is an organisation solely operated by volunteers who rescue and care for sick, injured, orphaned or otherwise distressed wildlife, including koalas. Currumbin Wildlife Hospital (CWH) is a not-for-profit facility and the primary provider of veterinary treatment for rescued koalas from the Gold Coast.

    The cost involved in treating koalas is particularly extensive - ultrasound, laboratory testing, fluid therapy, medications and lots of fresh gum daily, is just a part of what is involved to care for these beautiful animals. CWH spends on average more than $6000 on each koala patient that is admitted and costs add up very quickly.

    We are well into this year’s koala breeding season and CWH are already experiencing a high number of koalas being admitted for treatment. The CWH has many programs where you can help support the koalas in their care:

    · Tree to Me Program

    · Walkways for Wildlife

    · Volunteer Program

    · DIY Fundraising

    · Currumbin Wildlife Hospital Giving Fund

    · Green Patch Day

    We would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank all staff and volunteers involved in the rescue and treatment of our precious Gold Coast koalas. Organisations like Wildcare Australia Inc. and Currumbin Wildlife Hospital are essential to the ongoing sustainability of koala populations within the city.

  • Breeding Season: Koala Friendly Backyards

    6 months ago
    April 2017


    We are well into this year’s koala breeding season and Gold Coast koalas are on the move. Unfortunately koalas living in urban areas have to move through residential backyards in order to disperse, find food and undertake home ranging behaviours. Some backyard fence designs can trap a koala or restrict access to available food and shelter trees.. For yards where a dog is present, unsuitable fences allowing access for koalas may lead to them sustaining potentially fatal injuries. Below are four ways you can create a koala friendly backyard and assist with safe koala movement:

    1. Safely contain your dog:...


    We are well into this year’s koala breeding season and Gold Coast koalas are on the move. Unfortunately koalas living in urban areas have to move through residential backyards in order to disperse, find food and undertake home ranging behaviours. Some backyard fence designs can trap a koala or restrict access to available food and shelter trees.. For yards where a dog is present, unsuitable fences allowing access for koalas may lead to them sustaining potentially fatal injuries. Below are four ways you can create a koala friendly backyard and assist with safe koala movement:

    1. Safely contain your dog: When your dog is approached by an unfamiliar animal in their own backyard, it may feel threatened and react in an unexpected manner. Prevent koala-dog interactions by safely containing your dog at night by keeping it indoors at night or confined on a veranda or garage area. Smaller enclosures or runs are also suitable for night time use, or your dog may be comfortable on a long lead.

    2. Koala Friendly fencing: If you are updating your boundary fence consider installing a koala friendly fence which will allow koalas to safely enter and exit your yard. Here are some examples of koala friendly fencing and some cute photos of koalas using these designs.

    Fencing made from material that koalas can easily grip to climb.

    Fencing that allows koalas to move under or through easily.

    Wooden fencing they can grip (Kerry Townsend, 2017)

    Use of wooden posts they can grip

    Use materials they can climb (Yvonne Winter, 2018)

    Wooden fence they can grip


    3. Provide alternative route: If you currently have fencing that isn’t koala friendly, for example colourbond/steel fencing, there are some easy ways to allow koalas an alternative route out of the yard.

    Allow koalas an alternative route over a fence by retaining trees or sturdy shrubs alongside the fence.


    Allow koalas an alternative route out of the yard by placing timber posts or logs on the inside of the fence.

    4. Koala exclusion fences: Sometimes the best option is a fence that excludes koalas from entering your yard if you have dogs or need to keep koalas out of a dog confinement area. Koala exclusion fences can be constructed using metal sheeting (such as smooth colorbond steel) or rendered brick surfaces that do not provide grip for a koala to climb. Find out more about koala exclusion fence designs here.

    5. Provide shelter trees: Provide refuge for koalas passing through your yard by planting native shrubs and trees in your backyard. Other native fauna species will also benefit from your new native garden. Find out what to plant in your yard here.

    In the unfortunate event your dog comes into contact with a koala or you find a koala trapped in your yard, please immediately report the incident o Wildcare Australia Inc. on 07 5527 2444 (24 hours) so the koala can be rescued and transferred to a wildlife hospital for examination and treatment if needed.

    Koala conservation is everyone’s responsibility.

    Thank you for creating a koala friendly backyard.

  • Koala Rescues: When should you call Wildcare Australia Inc?

    6 months ago
    Anonymous tallebudgera april 2018


    Koalas living in urban areas are more vulnerable to threats posed by habitat fragmentation, vehicle strike, dogs, disease and bushfire. Unfortunately during the breeding season, the level of threat is elevated due to the increase in koalas dispersing across roads and through residential backyards. During every breeding season there is a spike in the number of koalas that require rescue and/or treatment due to these threats.

    If you see a koala, please take a moment to assess the health and wellbeing of the animal by following these guidelines. If the koala is displaying any of the below symptoms or behaviours...


    Koalas living in urban areas are more vulnerable to threats posed by habitat fragmentation, vehicle strike, dogs, disease and bushfire. Unfortunately during the breeding season, the level of threat is elevated due to the increase in koalas dispersing across roads and through residential backyards. During every breeding season there is a spike in the number of koalas that require rescue and/or treatment due to these threats.

    If you see a koala, please take a moment to assess the health and wellbeing of the animal by following these guidelines. If the koala is displaying any of the below symptoms or behaviours please immediately call Wildcare Australia Inc. on 07 5527 2444 (24 hours) to notify them of the koala.

    Poor health symptoms

    Sitting or sleeping on the ground (R. Rivard, 2017)

    Sitting in the same tree for more than 48 hours

    Has 'wet' or 'dirty' reddish stained rump

    Conjunctivitis - red, swollen, weepy eye/s

    Brown matted or patchy fur, blood patches, missing fur and/or bite wounds

    Hazardous situation

    Trapped on road and at risk of being hit by vehicle (Fallan, 2016)

    Trapped in backyard with or near a dog (C. Witkiss, 2017)

    Wildcare Australia Inc. is an organisation solely operated by volunteers who rescue and care for sick, injured, orphaned or otherwise distressed wildlife, including koalas. To find out how you can help this organisation including becoming a wildlife volunteer, click here.

    All images were provided by the community while reporting their koala sightings through our online form at www.gchaveyoursay.com.au/koalas. Even if you see a healthy koala we would like to hear from you as all reported sightings attribute to the ecological data that shapes the conservation measures we put in place across the city.

    Koala conservation is everyone’s responsibility.

    Thank you for reporting your koala sightings.