26 September 2023

NPWS finds healthy koalas in Coolah Tops

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The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) has uncovered a healthy koala population has been discovered in the high-elevation forests of Coolah Tops National Park with the help of thermal drones and sniffer dogs.

Celebrating the find, NPWS said 42 koalas had been identified in Coolah Tops and on adjoining land after a survey was conducted by its researchers as part of the NSW Koala Strategy.

“This is an exceptional outcome, as there have been only five recorded sightings in Coolah Tops National Park in the last 70 years,” NPWS said.

“Although a few historic koala records exist, and recent audio detections of koala bellows were recorded in the area during spring 2023, nothing was known about whether a population of koalas persisted at Coolah Tops National Park,” it said.

“The Department of Planning and Environment is now preparing a statewide koala count to establish a population baseline for the endangered species – a first for New South Wales.”

NPWS said a systematic koala count on public land was already underway, in national parks, state forest and other public land throughout eastern and central NSW.

It said the count would be conducted using nocturnal infrared drones, trained koala spotters and sound recorders deployed across 1,000 sites.

“Understanding the distribution and size of the current koala population is vital for tracking the recovery of this iconic species into the future.”

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