26 September 2023

Statewide plan to double koala numbers

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The Department of Planning and Environment (DPE) has launched a five-year plan for its first step towards doubling the State’s koala population by 2050.

Welcoming the NSW Koala Strategy, Minister for the Environment, James Griffin said the $193.3 million Strategy was the biggest financial commitment by any Government to secure the future of koalas in the wild.

“In fact, this is the largest investment in any single species in Australia, and demonstrates how committed we are to conservation and achieving our goal of doubling koala numbers by 2050,” Mr Griffin said.

“We know there are multiple threats to koalas, including loss and fragmentation of their habitat, compounded by the impact of the devastating 2019–20 bushfires, as well as vehicle strike and dog attack,” he said.

“The Strategy will help to fill key knowledge gaps and fund priority scientific studies to support koalas, including chlamydia vaccine trials.”

Mr Griffin said the Strategy focused on conservation action under four themes, koala habitat conservation, supporting local communities to conserve koalas, improving the safety and health of koalas, and science and research to build knowledge of koalas.

“This Strategy will better secure 10 climate resilient koala stronghold locations from the Southern Tablelands, to Campbelltown and Lismore, which will receive intensive action in the next five years to support the existing populations there,” the Minister said.

“Some of these actions include preventing vehicle strike and dog attacks, and restoring and protecting 47,000 additional hectares of habitat.”

He said a key part of the Koala Strategy involved establishing partnerships with conservation groups and communities.

“We all want to see koalas thrive in the wild for generations to come, and everyone, including land managers, local councils, wildlife carers, citizen scientists and the NSW Government needs to be involved.”

Mr Griffin said protecting and restoring koala habitat would also support other threatened and endangered species, such as powerful owls and glossy black cockatoos.

DPE’s 35-page Strategy can be accessed at this PS News link.

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