High up in the treetops, in coastal forests, in the Northern Rivers region, along the tablelands and plains west of the Great Divide, the Blue Mountains, the suburban fringes of Sydney and the Southern Highlands – this is NSW Koala Country.
While koalas can be hard to find, we think there are around 30,000 to 40,000 wild koalas still living in NSW. But more information is required and you can help by joining OEH citizen scientist surveys. Go to the OEH citizen science pages to learn more about threatened species citizen scientist projects.
Koalas are recognised around the world as one of Australia’s most iconic animals. However, many people don’t know that koala populations are under pressure not only across most of NSW, but also in the Australian Capital Territory and Queensland.
The combined koala populations of NSW, Queensland and the Australian Capital Territory were listed as vulnerable by the Australian Government on 2 May 2012. Read more about these national listed populations.
Koala populations in Victoria and South Australia are not listed as threatened species.
- clearing, modification and fragmentation of habitat
- disease including Chlamydia
- being hit by cars
- intense fires that scorch or burn the tree canopy
- being attacked by dogs
- heat stress through drought and heatwaves
- climate change
- explore the opportunities on this website
- join a tree planting or citizen science project
- volunteer with Landcare, wildlife rehabilitation group, or a local koala organisation
- keep your dog on a lead when walking
- slow down on local roads
- keep water out on hot days
- share your observations and images of any koalas you see in the wild via a new koala field sightings app due to be released in 2019
Under NSW planning legislation (the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act, or EP&A Act) councils need to consider the environmental impacts of proposed developments. If you are concerned about a development within koala country, please contact your local council planning department.
Koalas survive mainly on a diet of eucalyptus leaves such as forest red gum, tallowwood and swamp mahogany, but they do not eat all species of eucalyptus and their preference varies across NSW Koala Country. Find out the preferred tree species in your area.
There is a myth that koalas sleep a lot because they get drunk on gum leaves. This is not correct. Most of their time is spent sleeping because it requires a lot of energy to digest their toxic, fibrous, low-nutrition diet and sleeping is the best way to conserve energy.