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.



  • Koala Conversation Community Forums

    about 1 month 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

    2 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

    2 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?

    2 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.

  • Breeding Season: Increase in Koala–Dog Interactions

    2 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

    2 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

    2 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

    6 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!

    6 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

    7 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.