How Council is helping koalas
In December 2021, Redland City Council adopted the Redlands Coast Koala Conservation Plan 2022-2027 (Plan) and the Koala Conservation Action Plan 2022-2027 (Action Plan). The new five year plan commenced on 1 July 2022. It extends the extensive work already undertaken by Council, our research partners, conservation groups and the community, to continue protecting our koalas into the future.
Redlands Coast Koala Conservation Plan 2022-2027 [PDF 1.3MB]
Redlands Coast Koala Conservation Action Plan 2022-2027 [PDF1.0MB]
New initiatives include:
- Koala trails – investigate two trails in Redlands Coast, delivering an engaging community education activity and providing an innovative eco-tourism opportunity for the region.
- Sentinel sites – selected sites across the city that will be surveyed annually (via drones and detection dogs) to provide data on koala population trends and dynamics.
- Early disease intervention program – proactively manage disease through a safe capture and treatment program that builds on existing partnerships and programs.
- Habitat connectivity – evaluation and rehabilitation of habitat through urban restoration projects to improve koala movement opportunities and reduce threats.
- Digital data platform – map and visually present koala data and contribute to the National Koala Monitoring Program with project partners.
- Bluetooth koala tagging system – further development of prototype with research partners.
The Plan guides management actions, while the Action Plan contains targeted, practical actions that are based on science and are measurable. The Plan and Action Plan are both based on four main objectives:
- Decisions based on science – research and monitoring
- Protect and improve koala habitat – securing, linking and replanting koala habitat
- Reduce koala deaths – preventing koala mortality from vehicles and dogs
- Community making a difference – increasing community connection
The new plans build on the work undertaken in the previous five-year plan. You can check out the previous plans below:
Redlands Koala Conservation Strategy 2016 [PDF 1.6MB]
Redlands Koala Conservation Action Plan 2016-2021 [PDF 2.0MB]
Redland City Council runs an awareness campaign during breeding season each year, to remind residents and visitors that our local koala population is more active in the months between June and December. The campaign encourages residents to:
- 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 poolside escape ramp and a post against the fence so koalas have a safe route from your pool or garden. Having an escape ramp in your pool 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. For more information check out Leave It for dog training tips.
- When you see a koala in your street or suburb, tell your family and neighbours to help spread awareness in your community. Most importantly, join Redlands Coast Koala Watch and submit your sighting. This information is used by Council to better manage and protect koalas.
- If you see a koala and are concerned it may be ill or injured, contact the Redlands 24-hour Wildlife Rescue Service on 3833 4031.
2022 awareness campaign
2021 awareness campaign
2020 awareness campaign
2019 awareness campaign
2018 awareness campaign
While we encourage these activities during breeding season, they are also important all year round. Redland City Council regularly evaluates our koala campaigns through community surveys, which helps further shape our koala conservation activities.
Keep an eye out for the awareness campaign in newspapers, bus sides, bus shelters and online between June and December each year.
Redland City Council has created a number of koala safe neighbourhoods throughout Redland Coast. The Koala Safe Neighbourhood program collaborates with the local community to reduce the key threats to koala survival, which includes vehicle-strike, dog attack, habitat loss and disease. The program forms part of Council’s city-wide koala conservation activities.
Ormiston was Redland Coast’s first koala safe neighbourhood and was established in 2018. Conservation activities in the neighbourhood have included plantings, community forums, smart sign trials and koala tracking and monitoring programs.
Three new neighbourhoods have now been established in the areas of Birkdale, Thornlands and Mount Cotton.
Check out the Koala Safe Neighbourhood page for more information, including an online map showing the most recent locations of our ambassador koalas.
Redlands Coast Koala Watch is your opportunity to help improve the health and wellbeing of our local koala population. It’s a joint partnership between the community, koala researchers and Redland City Council which allows you to contribute to koala conservation. All you need to do is watch out for koalas when you're out walking or in your backyard, check to see if they are ill or injured, get them help if needed, then submit your sighting online. It's easy.
Visit the Redlands Coast Koala Watch page to find out more about how the program works or to join today.
Council has been working in partnership with behavioural change researchers from Social Marketing @ Griffith University to deliver a training program that helps dog owners teach their dogs basic obedience, such as not to bark at or chase wildlife, including koalas.
The first stage of the program involved two expert dog trainers, Steve Austin and Ryan Tate, working with local dog trainers to incorporate the Leave It program into normal training sessions. There were also community seminars available for the public.
The Leave It program is now working with Council’s animal management team to train rescued dogs and is also developing an awareness program for puppy pre-schools.
For more information on the training program, visit the Leave It website.
Leave It reports
Leave It evaluation report 2020 [PDF 3.0MB] (Social Marketing @ Griffith University)
Leave It summary progress report 2020 [PDF 0.1MB] (Social Marketing @ Griffith University)
Leave It evaluation report 2019 [PDF 3.2MB] (Social Marketing @ Griffith University)
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.
For more information visit the Environmental Partnerships page or contact:
Environmental Partnerships Extension Officer
Ph. (07) 3824 8611
In 2019 Redland City Council challenged local high schools and colleges to design an art piece that represented what koalas mean to the Redland Coast community. First prize went to Wellington Point State High School with their artwork titled ‘koala selfie’, an oversized koala sculpture, designed to function as a seat where people could take selfies.
Koala Selfie with Ella Verwer from Wellington Point State High School.
In July 2022, a select group of Wellington Point State High School art students, visited to the UAP foundry to learn about the process of creating public art from concept design to installation.
This program is fully funded by the Redland Performing Arts Centre and the artwork will become part of Redland City Council’s public art asset portfolio when it is unveiled.
Council regularly runs environmental activities for children and families at Redlands IndigiScapes Centre throughout school holidays.
We also have an Environmental Education Officer who delivers education programs schools and community groups.
The programs include sessions and resources on koalas.
Redland City Council continues to purchase environmentally significant land with large areas of koala habitat have been permanently protected, funded by our Environment Levy.
The Council takes a range of actions to protect land and koala corridors including:
- Planting large areas of koala food trees along road reserves and in parks and conservation areas, as part of our commitment to the One Million Native Trees project to be completed by 2026 and other council habitat restoration initiatives such as our community bushcare program.
- A Wildlife Connections Plan that manages, protects and enhances a network of core wildlife corridors throughout the Redlands Coast.
- Working closely with the Queensland Government Department of Transport and Main Roads and Queensland Rail to enhance koala safe movement where possible across our roads through the construction of underpasses and fencing.
- Endorsing and implementing koala habitat protection in support of the Queensland government’s koala legislation and policy. Local law no. 6 – protection of vegetation can assist to protect significant koala habitat.
Council has funded and managed the Redlands 24-hour Wildlife Rescue service for the past 24 years. The service is a volunteer program that responds to calls about sick, injured and orphaned wildlife, including koalas. If you see a koala you think may need help, please call the service on (07) 3833 4031.
For information on how to tell if a koala is sick or injured, visit our koala page.
In 2020, Redland City Council engaged the University of the Sunshine Coast, Detection Dogs for Conservation to repeat the 2018 koala scat surveys so that results could be analysed and compared after a two year period.
- Redlands Coast Population and Genetic Assessment 2021 - [PDF 34.2MB] University of the Sunshine Coast, Detection Dogs for Conservation
You can find out the latest information on how we are using genetic mapping with Dr Katrin Hohwieler from the University of the Sunshine Coast, Detection Dogs for Conservation in the video below.
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] 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] Biolink Ecological Consultants
This report utilises historic koala records obtained from community and government sources, in combination with an independent field survey, to inform Redland City Council about trends in koala distribution.
- Redlands Coast Koala Population and Genetic Assessment [PDF 90.7MB] 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.
Extensive koala habitat review and mapping was also undertaken in 2015.
- 2015 Report [PDF 9.0MB] BAAM Ecological Consultants
Ongoing research milestone reports:
Train the Driver
2020 Research report [PDF 0.8MB] Social Marketing @ Griffith University
2021 Community evaluation report [PDF 1.26MB] Social Marketing@Griffith
2020 Community evaluation report [PDF 1MB] Social Marketing@Griffith
2020 Insight summary [PDF 1.5MB] Social Marketing@Griffith
2019 Community evaluation report [PDF 1MB] Social Marketing@Griffith
Watch the video below with Professor Sharyn Rundle-Thiele from Social Marketing@Griffith to learn more aboyt the results from recent koala conservation community behaviour change programs, including Leave It dog training.
Year 3 final - Behaviour change report - Jul 2021 [PDF 1.8MB] Griffith University, Applied Road Ecology Group
Year 3 interim - Behavour change report - Dec 2020 [PDF 1.0MB] Griffith University, Applied Road Ecology Group
Year 2 - Behaviour change report - Jul 2020 [PDF 1.3MB] Griffith University, Applied Road Ecology Group
Year 1 - Behaviour change report - Mar 2019 [PDF 2.6MB] Griffith University, Applied Road Ecology Group
2019 Community evaluation report [PDF 1MB] Social Marketing @ Griffith University
Dr Amy Blacker from Griffith University Applied Road Ecology Group shares information about how smart signs are slowing down drivers and helping to protect our wildlife in the video below.
Minjerribah koala monitoring
2020 final report - Dec [PDF 7.2MB] University of the Sunshine Coast, Detection Dogs for Conservation
2020 interim report - Jun [PDF 1.6MB] University of the Sunshine Coast, Detection Dogs for Conservation
2019 report [PDF 2.8MB] University of the Sunshine Coast, Detection Dogs for Conservation
Koala Safe Neighbourhoods
Year 4 - Final report - Ormiston, Birkdale, Thornlands and Mount Cotton - 2022 [PDF 15.9MB] University of the Sunshine Coast, Detection Dogs for ConservationLearn more about how the koala ambassador monitoring and tracking programs in our koala safe neighbourhoods are helping to understand urban koala population dynamics with Dr Romane Cristescu and Caio Santos-Neto from the University of the Sunshine Coast, Detection Dogs for Conservation in the video on our YouTube playlist.
Year 4 - Progress report - Ormiston, Birkdale, Thornlands and Mount Cotton - July to December 2022 [PDF 1.86MB] University of the Sunshine Coast, Detection Dogs for Conservation
Year 3 - Final report - Ormiston, Birkdale, Thornlands and Mount Cotton - 2021 [PDF 8.5MB] University of the Sunshine Coast, Detection Dogs for Conservation
Year 2 - Progress report - Ormiston, Birkdale, Thornlands and Mount Cotton - July to December 2020 [PDF 5MB] University of the Sunshine Coast, Detection Dogs for Conservation
Year 2 - Progress report - Ormiston koala population monitoring - 2019 to 2020 [PDF 13MB] University of the Sunshine Coast, Detection Dogs for Conservation
Year 1 - Progress report - Ormiston koala population monitoring 2019 [PDF 10MB] University of the Sunshine Coast, Detection Dogs for Conservation
- Our Koala page has information on koalas in Redlands Coast.
- Find out more about wildlife at the Wildife in Redlands Coast page.
- Check if you live in or near a koala safe neighbourhood.
- Visit our koala conservation playlist on YouTube.
What's happening in Redlands Coast about koalas
Follow the IndigiScapes Facebook page for regular updates on our local koalas and visit our YouTube playlist.