Koalas are a unique and iconic species cherished by Australians. The Australian Government is committed to practical action to help with their recovery.
In February 2022, the Koala (combined populations of ACT, NSW and QLD) was up-listed from ‘vulnerable’ to ‘endangered’ under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) due to various impacts including loss of habitat, disease and the impact of bushfires. This means impacts on the listed koala are avoided and mitigated to the greatest extent possible, and that any unavoidable significant residual impacts are offset.
In April 2022, the Australian Government also released the first National Recovery Plan for the Koala (combined populations of QLD, NSW and ACT), setting a clear pathway for investment and action to support the recovery of the listed koala.
In May 2022, an additional $24.5 million was committed towards koala conservation under the Saving Native Species Program. This builds on existing investments in koala conservation, which the government is moving quickly to implement. These include habitat, health, and monitoring initiatives delivered in partnership with conservation organisations, governments, scientists and land managers.
Koala conservation projects
Planning is underway for the swift rollout of more than $76 million of investment into koala conservation. This includes community grants, large-scale habitat restoration activities, monitoring and koala health initiatives. As new projects are finalised they will be published on this website.
In addition to these new investments, existing projects completed or underway to support the listed koala include:
- $10 million to support habitat restoration and threat mitigation in bushfire-affected regions of New South Wales and south-east Queensland
- $2 million for Koala protection and recovery at additional sites identified from the Investment Framework for Environmental Resources (INFFER) workshops held in northern New South Wales
- $2 million for habitat restoration and threat mitigation in other non-bushfire affected regions of central and western New South Wales and central Queensland
- $2 million for a Koala Health Initiative to support coordination and delivery of more effective health research and to support Koala veterinary activities, including a national Koala Disease Risk Analysis (KDRA). Developed by the University of Sydney, the KDRA is the first disease risk analysis to examine disease risk for an Australian wildlife species at the national level, and identifies the knowledge base, information gaps, risk assessments and critical control points for koala disease hazards
- $2 million for a National Koala Monitoring Program to undertake co-design and pilot studies to fill key data gaps identified through the Koala re-assessment and recovery plan development process.
In addition, Australian Government commitments to the Koala under the Environment Restoration Fund include:
Koala projects funded under the initial $6 Million through the Environment Restoration Fund (PDF - 129 KB)
Koala projects funded under the initial $6 Million through the Environment Restoration Fund (DOCX - 67 KB)
National Koala Monitoring Program (NKMP)
The goal of the NKMP is to deliver a robust estimate of the national koala population and build a long-lasting capability to monitor and assess trends in koala populations, distribution and health across the species range.
Together with other relevant information, the NKMP will inform future listing re-assessments of all koala populations, support the implementation of the National Recovery Plan for the listed koala, and guide other government and non-government koala strategies, plans and management processes.
Delivered in partnership with the CSIRO, the first phase of the program (2020-22) has been completed, including stakeholder engagement, co-design and pilot surveys. The next phase of the program will deliver a comprehensive national program.
The program is engaging the community, citizen scientists, First Nations stakeholders, and researchers across the relevant jurisdictions to deliver more effective and efficient monitoring outcomes. More information is available at www.csiro.au/en/research/indigenous-science/Managing-Country/Koala-monitoring-program
National Recovery Plan for the Koala
The Australian Government has released the first National Recovery Plan for the listed endangered Koala Phascolarctos cinereus (combined populations of Queensland, New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory). This recovery plan will drive forward a coordinated and strategic approach to its conservation and recovery.
- National Recovery Plan for the Koala Phascolarctos cinereus (combined populations of Queensland, New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory)
Koala Conservation and Protection - Community Grants
Round 1 of the Koala Conservation and Protection - Community Grants program is now closed. All applications are currently being assessed.
Additional information is available at: https://business.gov.au/kcpc
Koala Conservation INFFER Report
The report provides the results of a cost-benefit analysis, using the Investment Framework for Environmental Resources (INFFER) tool, to guide the Australian Government’s investment to protect Koalas sites in northern New South Wales and south-east Queensland. A summary of the report recommendations was presented at the Koala Roundtable held at Parliament House on 26 February 2020.