Koala conservation

Koala sleeping in a tree

We have long recognised the importance of koalas within the Gold Coast. The City actively supports some of the most important koala habitat and populations in South East Queensland.

These populations occur over 32,000 hectares of habitat within:

  • Council and State-managed reserves
  • large areas of privately-owned rural land
  • urban and urban fringe areas of the Gold Coast.

Threats to koalas

As urban expansion continues, koalas face ever-increasing threats to their survival. Koalas regularly move to access food, establish their home range and socialise. They are especially vulnerable during breeding season, when juvenile males move in search of their own home range and breeding adults seek a mate.

The greatest threats to koalas are:

  • fragmentation of habitat caused by urban development, invasive weeds and changes to the intensity of bushfires which can isolate both individuals and populations
  • chlamydial disease which is widespread among koalas and can cause symptoms including:
    • eye infections (leading to conjunctivitis and blindness)
    • urinary tract infections causing cystitis which can lead to 'wet bottom' or 'dirty tail' (a brown discoloured rump caused by dripping urine) and infertility in females
    • respiratory infections (including nasal discharge), leading to pneumonia in some cases
  • koala retrovirus which is also widespread among koalas and may suppress the immune system causing leukaemia and lymphoma
  • road fatalities when koalas are forced to regularly cross busy roads to find food and shelter, establish home ranges and seek mates
  • barriers to movement including fences, roads and cleared land, which changes population dynamics, limits the flow of genes between koala populations and hinders population recovery
  • domestic dogs can injure or kill koalas when kolas enter yards, when dogs are off-lead in on-lead areas or when dogs freely roam in nearby bushland.
  • swimming pools – koalas can drown in swimming pools if they don't have an easily accessible way to climb out.

Our policies and strategies include principles for managing koala populations and habitat, so we can:

  • help reduce threats to koalas on the Gold Coast
  • monitor our local koala populations
  • engage with and empower our community to help protect koalas.

Safeguarding koalas & their habitat

We work hard to conserve koalas across the Gold Coast and are implementing the city-wide Koala Conservation Plan. We protect and conserve koala habitat, and manage threats and impacts by:

Things you can do to help koalas

There are simple things you can do to help reduce threats and ensure the future of koalas on the Gold Coast.

Report a koala sighting online

Alternatively, you can call us on 1300 GOLDCOAST (1300 465 326) or call Wildcare Australia on their 24/7 hotline 07 5527 2444 (if a koala is sick, injured, in danger or deceased).