How council is helping koalas
Redlands Coast is well-known for its koala population living in and around our urban areas. In fact, koalas are one of the few Australian native animals that have shown they can successfully share their home with humans. Despite large areas of their natural habitat being lost to urbanisation and the associated dangers imposed by roads and dogs, you will still see koalas in all the villages of Redlands Coast and on North Stradbroke Island (Minjerribah). Interestingly, our koala population on Minjerribah are not related to the Redland Coast mainland population, but instead share a closer ancestry with koalas from the Gold Coast region! It is true our koala population has diminished over the years, but the population is still viable and breeding. Current monitoring of the koala population in Ormiston shows that our koalas are comfortable living amongst us, with mums and bubs often been reported in our regular updates on Facebook.
Steps you can take to keep koalas safe
- Please slow down when driving and be koala alert — particularly at dawn and dusk, when koalas often travel and can be difficult to see.
- When driving in ‘koala zones’ and you see the flashing koala signs (such as in Ormiston) – please slow down, as these areas have a much higher concentration of koala activity.
- Make sure that your back garden is ‘koala safe’, with an escape ramp in the pool and or a post against the fence so koalas have a safe route from the pool or garden. Having an escape ramp in your pools may also save your family pet from drowning.
- If you have a dog in the backyard, ensure that it is both trained and secured at night time for koala safety, particular between the months of June and December when koalas disperse and breed.
- When you see a koala in your street or suburb, tell your family and neighbours to help spread awareness in your community. Most importantly, register with Australian Living Atlas (ALA) and submit your sighting, this information is used by Council to better manage and protect koalas.
Koala awareness advertising campaign
You may see us hanging out in the cinemas, on buses or at bus shelters during our koala awareness campaign.
Ormiston koala safe neighbourhood
The Ormiston koala safe neighbourhood project is working with the local community to reduce the threats to their local koala population. You can follow the travels of our Ormiston koalas on our Facebook page.
As you watch the koalas on Facebook you’ll discover they do travel; in fact, they can travel anywhere up to 10km, and use stepping stone trees, shade trees and food trees to help them on their way. As you can see from the map below, under the right circumstances and with the right conditions koalas could easily travel from one end of Ormiston to the other - if needed.
This safe area has a longstanding koala population and forms part of Council's city-wide koala conservation activities. We plan to establish more koala safe neighbourhoods throughout Redlands Coast.
Koala map and table of statistics for the Ormiston koala safe neighbourhood
Ormiston koala safe neighbourhood provides a haven for the many koalas in the area. This map shows just some of the koalas being monitored as part of the current research project.
Do any of these koalas live near your property?
View the Ormiston Koala Safe Neighbourhood Catchment table [PDF 639 KB] for statistics about the Koalas named on the map above.
Environmental partnership programs
Council has a range of environmental partnership programs including the Koala Conservation Agreement Program (KCAP). The program is voluntary and free to join with an agreement running for a three to five year period. The agreement does not alter the title of the property and is extinguished at resale.
Koalas in Design: School’s Art Exhibition
Local emerging artists in schools across Redlands Coast have created artworks considering koala conservation. Their works highlight the social, cultural, environmental and economic value of koalas to our community and where on display at Redland Performing Arts Centre for Save the Koala Month in September.
Winner - Wellington Point State High School for ‘Koala Selfie’
The idea of an oversized koala sculpture, designed to function as a seat, met the four key themes of the koalas in design school arts challenge. Judges agreed that a large sculpture of a koala would immediately make it recognisable, and as an iconic species people would be drawn to investigate. The koala sculpture has been designed so its legs act as seats and judges felt this encouraged people to interact, take photos and ‘selfies’ and would continue to send a message about koalas. The colour scheme and patterns offered for consideration by the design team reflect both the cultural and environmental place of the koala.
Wellington Point State High School art teacher Tamara Beale and her student design team will work with an artist to bring their 'Koala Selfie' concept to life. The Artist in Residence program is fully funded by RPAC and the artwork will become part of Redland City Council’s art asset portfolio, when unveiled in September 2020.
Individual runner up prizes were awarded to:
- Cailin Baynton from Victoria Point State High School for her sculpture concept titled ‘ How much can a koala bare’, with special thanks to art teacher Vikki Caruana.
- Lili Leaney from Cleveland District State High School for her mural design titled ‘The only tree’, with special thanks to art teacher Gayle Price.
Koala population and habitat reports
In 2018 Redland City Council commissioned the University of Queensland, Biolink Environmental Consultants, and the University of the Sunshine Coast and Detection Dogs for Conservation to undertake research into Redlands Coast koala populations. Together, the below reports detail genetic diversity and gene flow between local koala populations; outline the availability of koala habitat across Redlands Coast; and provide baseline population assessment information about Redlands Coast koalas.
- Zonation Framework for Conservation Prioritisation [PDF 1.9MB] ](prepared by the University of Queensland).
This report uses the Zonation meta-algorithm, a framework for conservation prioritisation, to identify areas that are important for retaining koala habitat quality and connectivity.
- Redlands Coast Koala Population and Habitat Assessment [PDF 22MB] (prepared by Biolink Ecological Consultants).
This report utilises historic koala records obtained from community and government sources, in combination with independent field survey, to inform Redland City Council about trends in koala distribution.
- Redlands Coast Koala Population and Genetic Assessment [PDF 90.7MB] (prepared by the University of the Sunshine Coast and Detection Dogs for Conservation).
This project used koala scat surveys paired with powerful next-generation genotyping to better understand current Redlands Coast koala population characteristics.
Current and ongoing milestone reports:
- Variable Message Sign Report [PDF 1MB] ](prepared by the Griffith University).
- Smart Sign and Smart Messaging Driver Behaviour Change Report [PDF 2.58MB] ](prepared by the Griffith University).
- Minjerribah Koala Monitoring Report [PDF 2.84MB] ](University of the Sunshine Coast, Detection Dogs for Conservation).
- Ormiston Koala Population Monitoring Report [PDF 10MB] ](University of the Sunshine Coast, Detection Dogs for Conservation).
Further information on koalas
- The Koala Conservation Action Plan [PDF, 2.0MB] documents actions to progress the strategic outcomes and objectives outlined in the Redland Koala Conservation Strategy 2016 [PDF, 2.0MB].
- Our Koala page has information on koalas in Redlands Coast.
- Visit the IndigiScapes website to find out more about wildlife in Redlands Coast.
- Visit the Koala Land website to find out more about koala conservation across the whole of Australia.
- Find out about the koala detection dogs, part of Council's koala population assessment.
What's happening in Redlands Coast about Koalas