The koala is one of Australia’s most recognised, beloved, and iconic native animals. They are found across the east and south-east coast of Australia, from the Cairns region in northern Queensland to the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia.
In February 2022, the combined koala populations in Queensland, New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory were up listed from ‘vulnerable’ to ‘endangered’ under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act). This was due to various impacts including:
- Increased frequency and intensity of drought and high temperatures, and increasing prevalence of weather conditions which promote bushfires, caused by climate change.
- A shrinking climatically suitable area.
- Diseases, specifically koala retrovirus (KoRV) and Chlamydia (Chlamydia pecorum).
- Habitat loss resulting from land clearance and mining.
- Mortality due to encounters with vehicles and dogs.
Koala populations in Victoria and South Australia are considered stable and not listed under the EPBC Act.
We are working with First Nations people, communities, state and territory governments, researchers, and conservation organisations to take practical action to help koalas. We are investing more than $76 million for on-ground actions which will help koalas and their habitat.
A National Recovery Plan has also been developed, which supports a coordinated and collaborative approach to koala conservation across the country. It aims to ensure the long-term survival of koalas in the wild. A National Recovery Team is in place to help deliver the actions and objectives of the Recovery Plan.
The up listing to ‘endangered’ under the EPBC Act also changes how you must consider if your project or development could impact koalas and their habitat. See the updated guidance and information to determine which projects need to be referred for approval under national environmental law.
State and territory information
Conservation and management of koalas is a shared responsibility. Visit the relevant website to see what state and territory governments are doing to protect and manage koalas.