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.



  • Breeding Season: Increase in Koala–Dog Interactions

    by mobrien, 5 months ago
    Dog attacks


    The city is home to an estimated 117,500 domestic dogs (60,382 registered and approximately 57,000 unregistered). Most incidents between dogs and koalas occur when a koala enters the backyard of a property where a dog is present. Koala-dog interactions occur throughout the year but there is a spike in these incidents during the koala breeding season. This is due to koalas increasing their movements through backyards when young koalas are dispersing from their mothers and adult males are in search of a mate.

    The graph below shows the number of koalas admitted to Currumbin Wildlife Hospital (CWH) due to sustaining...


    The city is home to an estimated 117,500 domestic dogs (60,382 registered and approximately 57,000 unregistered). Most incidents between dogs and koalas occur when a koala enters the backyard of a property where a dog is present. Koala-dog interactions occur throughout the year but there is a spike in these incidents during the koala breeding season. This is due to koalas increasing their movements through backyards when young koalas are dispersing from their mothers and adult males are in search of a mate.

    The graph below shows the number of koalas admitted to Currumbin Wildlife Hospital (CWH) due to sustaining injuries from a dog. The data demonstarates the signifcant increase in these incidents during the peak months of the breeding season (July – January). Just a single dog bite can seriously injure or kill a koala. Unfortunately the majority of koala-dog interactions are ultimately fatal due to life-threatening internal injuries and/or infection caused from bacteria entering the puncture wounds. Figure 1 visually displays the high number of koalas addmitted to CWH that have died as a result of sustaining injuries from a dog.


    Figure 1: Fate of Gold Coast koalas admitted to Currumbin Wildlife Hospital with injuries obtained by a dog/s between 2010 and 2018.

    What can you do?

    Most koala movements between trees involve travelling on the ground, mainly between dusk and dawn. By following these simple actions, the risk of your dog injuring or killing a koala can be greatly reduced.

    • Safely contain your dog: If possible, keep your dog 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.
    • 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. It is an offence to allow your dog off leash in any public area other than a designated off leash area.
    • Install koala friendly fencing: Fencing which allows koalas to easily climb out of your yard will assist them if they do encounter a dog. Alternatively use fencing which ensures koalas cannot access your dog’s yard. Click here for more information.
    • Don’t assume your dog is friendly: When approached by an unfamiliar animal in their own backyard a dog may feel threatened and might react in an unexpected manner.

    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. on 07 5527 2444 (24 hours) so the koala can be rescued and transferred to a wildlife hospital for examination and treatment if needed. The City and local wildlife organisations understand that despite following responsible pet ownership actions and creating a koala safe backyard, sometimes these incidents do still occur. Reporting these incidents is vital in being a responsible pet owner.

    Koala conservation is everyone’s responsibility.

    Thank you for being a responsible pet owner!


  • Implementation of the Koala Variable Message Sign Program

    by mobrien, 5 months ago
    Vms


    Due to historical land use within the city, many major roads and rail lines intersect koala habitat. Koalas regularly cross roads and rail lines to access food, shelter and to socialise with other koalas as part of home ranging behaviour. During the peak breeding season months, July – January, there is an increase in koala movement as last year’s young disperse from their mothers and adult males try to find a mate. During these months there is an unfortunate increase in the probability that koalas will come into contact with urban threats, including vehicles.

    Figure 1 below shows the number...


    Due to historical land use within the city, many major roads and rail lines intersect koala habitat. Koalas regularly cross roads and rail lines to access food, shelter and to socialise with other koalas as part of home ranging behaviour. During the peak breeding season months, July – January, there is an increase in koala movement as last year’s young disperse from their mothers and adult males try to find a mate. During these months there is an unfortunate increase in the probability that koalas will come into contact with urban threats, including vehicles.

    Figure 1 below shows the number of Gold Coast koalas admitted to Currumbin Wildlife Hospital due to being hit by a vehicle between 2010 and 2018. The data demonstrates the significant increase in the number of vehicle strikes during the peak breeding months. Unfortunately koalas have a high rate of mortality following a vehicle strike due to sustaining severe injury and/or infections from the incident.



    Figure 1: Fate of Gold Coast koalas admitted to Currumbin Wildlife Hospital with injuries obtained by a vehicle strike between 2010 and 2018.

    The Vulnerable Species Management team have been working with the Transport and Traffic team to include koala messaging within the Variable Message Signs (VMS) deployment schedule, with the aim to reduce the number of koala vehicle strikes. These koala ‘hot spot’ roads have been identified through the collection of koala vehicle strike data and signs will be deployed on these roads during the peak breeding months. Roads included in the koala VMS deployment schedule include:


    Northern Gold Coast Locations

    Southern Gold Coast Locations

    Captain Cook Drive, Arundel

    Guineas Creek Road, Elanora

    Napper Road, Parkwood

    Simpsons Road, Elanora

    Foxwell Road, Coomera

    Galleon Way, Currumbin Waters

    Colman Road, Coomera

    Trees Road, Tallebudgera

    Helensvale Road, Helensvale

    Bonogin Road, Mudgeeraba

    Discovery Drive, Helensvale


    Signs will be placed on site for a three week period per deployment, with the message changing weekly to further reduce signage fatigue. In most cases where a sign is deployed on a koala 'hot spot' road, there will be two weeks of koala messaging. Koala VMS messaging will include 1: Slow Down, Watch for Koalas, 2: Drive Carefully, Koalas Crossing. As signs will be on rotation during the season, there will be times a VMS will not be deployed on a ‘hot spot’ road. If you travel on these ‘hot spot’ roads or near other koala habitat areas, please remember to always slow down and stay alert for koalas and other wildlife crossing the road, especially between the hours of 6pm and 6am. If you find a koala that is sick, injured or in danger, please call Wildcare Australia Inc. on 07 5527 2444 (24 hours).

    Koala conservation is everyone’s responsibility.

    Thank you for slowing down.

  • Koala Breeding Season has commenced

    by mobrien, 5 months ago
    Anonymous tallebudgera 25 2 17


    The koala breeding season in South East Queensland has commenced. During this time there is an increase in koala activity and movement on the ground where they are more vulnerable to threats such as barriers, vehicle strikes, dogs and disease. Unfortunately this causes a significant increase in koala rescues and admissions to wildlife hospitals during the peak breeding season months (July-January).

    Koala conservation is everyone’s responsibility and we urge all Gold Coast community members to help play a key role in keeping our koalas safe while they are on the move, especially during the breeding season. Below...


    The koala breeding season in South East Queensland has commenced. During this time there is an increase in koala activity and movement on the ground where they are more vulnerable to threats such as barriers, vehicle strikes, dogs and disease. Unfortunately this causes a significant increase in koala rescues and admissions to wildlife hospitals during the peak breeding season months (July-January).

    Koala conservation is everyone’s responsibility and we urge all Gold Coast community members to help play a key role in keeping our koalas safe while they are on the move, especially during the breeding season. Below are some key actions you can do to play your part in koala conservation:

    • take extra care when driving near koala habitat, especially between dusk and dawn
    • create a koala friendly backyard to encourage safe movement
    • safely contain your dog at night either inside or in a dog run
    • immediately report a koala that is sick, injured or in danger to Wildcare Australia Inc. 07 5527 2444 (24 hours)
    • report all koala sightings through the City’s online koala sighting form
    • share these key actions with your friends, neighbours and colleagues.

    If you would like to become more involved in koala conservation on the Gold Coast, then become a Koala Friend. Membership is free and you will receive an information pack about koalas and koala conservation, up-to-date information on what is happening in the local koala population and invitations to local koala community events. Click here to become a member.

  • Trial of New Koala Road Signs

    9 months ago
    Variable koala road sign

    Koala vehicle strikes are common and a major contributor to the injury and death of koalas in the city. Koala vehicle strikes occur in both urban and rural areas. Unfortunately, records indicate the majority of koalas hit by vehicles die as a result of their injuries.

    The City’s koala sightings database in conjunction with Wildcare Australia Inc. and Currumbin Wildlife Hospital records, indicate most koala vehicle strikes occur between June and January each year, peaking in August which coincides with the start of the breeding season.

    During last year’s breeding season, the Vulnerable Species Management team...

    Koala vehicle strikes are common and a major contributor to the injury and death of koalas in the city. Koala vehicle strikes occur in both urban and rural areas. Unfortunately, records indicate the majority of koalas hit by vehicles die as a result of their injuries.

    The City’s koala sightings database in conjunction with Wildcare Australia Inc. and Currumbin Wildlife Hospital records, indicate most koala vehicle strikes occur between June and January each year, peaking in August which coincides with the start of the breeding season.

    During last year’s breeding season, the Vulnerable Species Management team together with the Transport and Traffic team, trialled the use of variable koala signs along roads identified as hot spot areas for koalas. This method of warning drivers to slow down has been well received and the team is currently working with Transport and Traffic to use these variable koala signs during this year’s breeding season.

    Remember, if you see a koala please report it via the online koala sighting report form. This information will attribute to the ecological data that shapes the conservation measures we put in place across the City.


  • NaturallyGC Program – Become a member!

    9 months ago
    Credit   kayak the gold coast

    If you are interested in connecting with and exploring the Gold Coast’s wonderful natural environment, become a NaturallyGC member and subscribe today here.

    Keep up to date with the latest NaturallyGC nature based workshops, activities and events from across the Gold Coast so you're always in the know.

    As a NaturallyGC subscriber, you will receive information on over 400 free or low cost activities provided by the City. With such an enviable natural environment right on our doorstep, the Naturally GC program offers countless activities that locals and visitors can enjoy including guided...

    If you are interested in connecting with and exploring the Gold Coast’s wonderful natural environment, become a NaturallyGC member and subscribe today here.

    Keep up to date with the latest NaturallyGC nature based workshops, activities and events from across the Gold Coast so you're always in the know.

    As a NaturallyGC subscriber, you will receive information on over 400 free or low cost activities provided by the City. With such an enviable natural environment right on our doorstep, the Naturally GC program offers countless activities that locals and visitors can enjoy including guided bushwalks, nature photography, tree planting, wildlife shows, outdoor play for kids, trail running, bird watching, native gardening, plant propagation, l and more.

    Download a copy of the NaturallyGC brochure and subscribe now by clicking here.




  • Tallebudgera Koala Habitat Restoration Project

    10 months ago
    Eucalyptus tereticornis

    The City has been awarded an Australian Government 20 Million Trees Program grant to further enhance and expand koala habitat at Schuster Park, Tallebudgera.

    The 20 Million Trees Program aims to plant 20 million trees throughout Australia by 2020, to re-establish green corridors and urban forests.

    The project will commence early in 2018 and aims to increase, restore and connect koala habitat at the park through the planting of 20,000 koala food and habitat trees, and assist in restoration to control threats from invasive weeds.

    There will be opportunities for the...

    The City has been awarded an Australian Government 20 Million Trees Program grant to further enhance and expand koala habitat at Schuster Park, Tallebudgera.

    The 20 Million Trees Program aims to plant 20 million trees throughout Australia by 2020, to re-establish green corridors and urban forests.

    The project will commence early in 2018 and aims to increase, restore and connect koala habitat at the park through the planting of 20,000 koala food and habitat trees, and assist in restoration to control threats from invasive weeds.

    There will be opportunities for the community to get involved with tree planting through the NaturallyGC program. Keep an eye out for upcoming tree planting days.

    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.
  • Summary of the year 2017

    11 months ago
    Anonymous   elanora 25 9 17

    Welcome to the 155 new Koala Friends that joined in 2017, we now have 571 members. Feel free to encourage friends, family and other koala supporters to join our Koala Friends program.

    With the help of our new Koala Friends, the dedication of our existing members and the wider community, we received 784 Gold Coast koala sighting reports. Koalas were reported across 39 suburbs, with the top 3 sightings in Elanora, Clagiraba and Tallebudgera.

    With the support of dedicated conservation groups, local schools, scout groups, Koala Friends and other volunteers, 16,308 koala food and habitat trees were planted. These...

    Welcome to the 155 new Koala Friends that joined in 2017, we now have 571 members. Feel free to encourage friends, family and other koala supporters to join our Koala Friends program.

    With the help of our new Koala Friends, the dedication of our existing members and the wider community, we received 784 Gold Coast koala sighting reports. Koalas were reported across 39 suburbs, with the top 3 sightings in Elanora, Clagiraba and Tallebudgera.

    With the support of dedicated conservation groups, local schools, scout groups, Koala Friends and other volunteers, 16,308 koala food and habitat trees were planted. These plantings have helped improve koala habitat throughout Schusters Park, Eddie Kornhauser Reserve, Colman Reserve and Burleigh Ridge. We would like to thank the City’s Natural Areas Management Unit (NAMU) for supporting koala conservation through their NaturallyGCProgram and the on ground management and maintenance of the tree plantings.

    Our koala conservation achievements for 2017 also include:

    • The Planting of 1000 trees in the Wildcare Australia Inc. Fodder Plantation which will provide food for koalas in care.

    • $45,000 dedicated to assist with Chlamydia vaccine research.

    • The trial of using variable koala road signs along koala ‘hot spot’ roads during the breeding season.

    • The city wide Koala Conservation Plan being endorsed by council.

    • Completion of the East Coomera Koala Population Study 2017.

    The City continues to work on protecting the Gold Coast koalas, and while we face challenges we remain optimistic and committed. With community involvement in activities such as reporting koala sightings, becoming a KoalaFriend, attending koala community events, planting koala food trees and simply spreading the word, our conservation efforts are strengthened.

    Thank you for all your support throughout the year and your ongoing koala conservation efforts.


    The Koala Conservation Team


  • Koala Conservation Conversations – Division 12, 13 & 14

    about 1 year ago
    Karen presentation

    Councillors Pauline Young, Daphne McDonald and Gail O’Niell and the City’s Vulnerable Species Management Team invited the community to attend an information session focussed on koala conservation within Divisions 12, 13 and 14.

    Special guests on the night included Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary Senior Veterinarian Dr Michael Pyne and President of Wildcare Australia Inc. Karen Scott (pictured above), who discussed health issues concerning koalas on the southern Gold Coast. The event covered topics including koalas with Chlamydial infection and what to do if your dog has an encounter with a koala.

    Tina Strachan from the City’s Vulnerable Species Management ...

    Councillors Pauline Young, Daphne McDonald and Gail O’Niell and the City’s Vulnerable Species Management Team invited the community to attend an information session focussed on koala conservation within Divisions 12, 13 and 14.

    Special guests on the night included Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary Senior Veterinarian Dr Michael Pyne and President of Wildcare Australia Inc. Karen Scott (pictured above), who discussed health issues concerning koalas on the southern Gold Coast. The event covered topics including koalas with Chlamydial infection and what to do if your dog has an encounter with a koala.

    Tina Strachan from the City’s Vulnerable Species Management Team gave an update on the new Koala Conservation Plan for the City and Alicia Powell from the same team delivered a presentation on koala population monitoring in the Burleigh, Elanora, Currumbin Waters and Tallebudgera areas. The group also enjoyed hearing Kylie Brookes, from the Animal Management Unit, discussing the City’s koala conservation initiatives in relation to pest and domestic animal management.

    It was an informal evening but a good opportunity to discuss issues surrounding koala conservation in these southern Gold Coast suburbs. Thank you to all the community members who attended the night, it was great to see such passionate people take time out of their busy schedules.


  • Koala mums and joeys

    about 1 year ago
    Anonymous   burleigh heads 12 9 17

    As we head quickly towards the end of the year and the busy festive season we thought it might be nice to slow down and take a look at some of the cute joey images sent in by koala sightings reporters from the community using our online report a koala sighting form.

    Anonymous - Burleigh Heads 12-9-1

    Anonymous - Elanora 20-10-17

    Anonymous - Elanora 20-10-17

    Anonymous - Elanora 20-10-17

    Anonymous - Elanora 27-10-17

    P Beckler - Helensvale 15-9-17

    Anonymous - Bonogin 12-5-17

    Anonymous - Arundel 29-11-2016

    Anonymous-Tallebudgera 25-2-17

    Robyn Rosenstrauss 18-1-17


    Koala sightings reported to council help us concentrate our...

    As we head quickly towards the end of the year and the busy festive season we thought it might be nice to slow down and take a look at some of the cute joey images sent in by koala sightings reporters from the community using our online report a koala sighting form.

    Anonymous - Burleigh Heads 12-9-1

    Anonymous - Elanora 20-10-17

    Anonymous - Elanora 20-10-17

    Anonymous - Elanora 20-10-17

    Anonymous - Elanora 27-10-17

    P Beckler - Helensvale 15-9-17

    Anonymous - Bonogin 12-5-17

    Anonymous - Arundel 29-11-2016

    Anonymous-Tallebudgera 25-2-17

    Robyn Rosenstrauss 18-1-17


    Koala sightings reported to council help us concentrate our conservation efforts in the right areas. Please help spread the word to family, friends and neighbours, every koala sighting is important. You can report your koala sightings here.


  • Koala Friends Program - Environmental Volunteer Award Recipient - Roger Peterson

    about 1 year ago
    Koala friends environmental volunteer awards roger peterson

    Koala Friends Environmental Volunteer Award recipient Roget Peterson with Councillor Young and Vulnerable Species Management Team (Koala Team) supervisor Tina Strachan.


    On Saturday 25th November the City of Gold Coast (City) held our annual Environmental Volunteer Awards recognising the achievements of volunteers involved in City supported environmental programs. The event acknowledged the important role volunteers play in helping to manage and restore the Gold Coast’s natural assets.

    We would like to congratulate Roger Peterson for being nominated to receive the award for the Koala Friends Program.

    Roger is one of our most active Koala Friends members and...

    Koala Friends Environmental Volunteer Award recipient Roget Peterson with Councillor Young and Vulnerable Species Management Team (Koala Team) supervisor Tina Strachan.


    On Saturday 25th November the City of Gold Coast (City) held our annual Environmental Volunteer Awards recognising the achievements of volunteers involved in City supported environmental programs. The event acknowledged the important role volunteers play in helping to manage and restore the Gold Coast’s natural assets.

    We would like to congratulate Roger Peterson for being nominated to receive the award for the Koala Friends Program.

    Roger is one of our most active Koala Friends members and is continually involved in koala conservation and on ground actions. As a Koala Friend, Roger has attended numerous koala tree plantings in his local area, including the important Wildcare Australia koala fodder plantation at Eddie Kornhauser Recreational Reserve.

    Roger is passionate about koala conservation and continually liaises with both the Koala Team and local Councillors to achieve good koala conservation outcomes for the local Elanora koalas, including identifying suitable areas for future restoration and planting, installation of koala awareness signage and input into koala-dog management.

    Roger is heavily invested the Koala Friends Program and ensuring positive outcomes for koalas in the southern Gold Coast. The Koala Team are grateful for his support