The koala is one of Australia's most loved and iconic animals. In Brisbane, and many other parts of Australia, their numbers have dropped rapidly due to habitat loss, dog attacks, vehicle strike and disease. As koalas are listed as vulnerable under national and state environmental law, Brisbane City Council is helping to establish a Koala Research Centre at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary.
What Council is doing
To help protect Brisbane's koalas, Brisbane City Council is:
- carrying out land use planning
- purchasing land with significant koala habitat through the Bushland Acquisition Program
- implementing the Natural Assets Local Law to protect significant vegetation including koala habitat
- establishing a koala fodder plantation at Wacol to provide wildlife carers with a secure food resource for sick and injured koalas in the greater Brisbane area
- planting koala food trees on Council land such as through the Habitat Brisbane program and through the Creek Catchment program
- assisting residents to protect and restore koala habitat through the Wildlife Conservation Partnerships Program
- installing wildlife movement solutions at strategic locations that help koalas to cross roads safely
- providing information and advice to Brisbane residents and visitors to help protect koalas
- managing pest plants and animals that impact on them
- managing natural areas such as Brisbane Koala Bushlands where residents and visitors can see koalas
- offering Wildlife Carer Grants and Environmental Grants
- undertaking a citywide koala survey using the services of a koala detection dog; this work will yield valuable information about the current population numbers, movement behaviour and the health of our local koalas
- establishing a Koala Research Centre at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary.
What you can do
If you see an injured koala or for other wildlife medical emergencies, phone the RSPCA on 1300 ANIMAL (1300 264 625)
Note: only trained and authorised wildlife carers and permit holders can catch koalas.
If you live in a koala habitat area or movement corridor:
- drive carefully, slow down, look out for koala crossing signs and scan the roadsides for koalas (and other wildlife) crossing roads, especially at dusk and dawn and around gullies and crests
- plant koala food trees (and retain existing ones). Recognised koala food trees in Brisbane include:
- grey gum (Eucalyptus major)
- tallowoood (Eucalyptus microcorys)
- small-fruited grey gum (Eucalyptus propinqua)
- scribbly gum (Eucalyptus racemosa)
- red stringy bark (Eucalyptus resinifera)
- swamp mahogany (Eucalyptus robusta)
- fine-leaved red gum (Eucalyptus seeana)
- blue gum (Eucalyptus tereticornis) (highly desirable)
- provide koala friendly fencing
- make your swimming pool koala safe
- keep koalas safe from your dog
- watch koalas from a distance.
If you have more than 0.5 hectares of land that can be created or protected, you can join the Wildlife Conservation Partnerships Program and receive assistance in re-establishing and protecting koala habitat. You can volunteer with your local Habitat Brisbane bushcare or catchment group, and you can visit an environment centre in greater Brisbane to learn more about koalas and how you can protect them.
Koala Research Centre
Brisbane City Council is working in collaboration with Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary and investing up to $2 million for the establishment of a koala research centre to be based at the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary in Fig Tree Pocket.
The centre will be staffed by scientific researchers who will focus on key issues facing koalas in the urban context (habitat loss, predation by domestic animals, road kill and disease), and will collaborate with universities and other research institutions. The centre will offer a unique and memorable experience, while helping to educate and engage visitors about how they can contribute to koala conservation.
The aim of the centre is to become a world-class facility that establishes Brisbane as the ‘koala capital’ of Australia.
The research centre will accommodate a minimum of two scientific researchers, and may include:
- monitoring capability for potential live streaming video feed
- interactive displays that cater to all ages
- fully accessible and multi-lingual displays
- a viewable section of the research area for visitors to view the researchers at work.
Construction commenced in January 2018. The Centre is expected to open in June 2018.
Koala detection dog survey reports
In 2017, Council commissioned the survey of 13 council bushland areas across the city using the unique services of koala detection dogs. These conservation certified dogs are trained to detect and locate koala scats (koala poo), even up to several months after the koala has moved away. The scats detected by the dogs inform us about the presence of koalas and can be analysed to provide invaluable information on koala health, genetic diversity, breeding and movement behaviour. Although the data collected as part of this study has helped us to estimate relative koala activity within and between the bushland areas, it is not a population survey and therefore cannot be used to infer the number of koalas living in Brisbane.
- Koala detection survey OWAD report (PDF - 6.08Mb)
- Koala detection survey OWAD report (PDF - 2.25Mb).
For more information about koalas in Brisbane and Council's initiatives, contact the call centre on 07 3403 8888.
If you would like to provide comments, ask questions or find out more about the Koala Research Centre, you can:
- phone the project team on 1800 669 416
- email the project team
- write to:
Koala Research Centre project team
City Projects Office
Brisbane City Council
GPO Box 1434
Brisbane Qld 4001