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Koala Conservation Plan

Koala with a tracking tag in a tree

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 will start on 1 July 2022. It extends the 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, which will continue to be actioned until the end of May 2022. 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 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. 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.

2020 awareness campaign

Examples of the 2020 koala awareness campaign

2019 awareness campaign

Koala's looking for love in a Bachelor style advertising campaign

2018 awareness campaign

Koala conservation campaign billboard 

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 in late 2021. 

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 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.

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. 

Ella Verwer from Wellington Point State High School, with the koala selfie winning design.

Koala Selfie with Ella Verwer from Wellington Point State High School.

During 2021/22, Wellington Point State High School, will be working with an Artist in Residence program, to learn how to take their winning design from concept to reality. This will include:

  • costs and benefits of different materials
  • design safety considerations
  • criteria and approval process for displaying public art
  • factors in choosing the right location.

The Artist in Residence 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 through our IndigiScapes centre, including the newly launched discovery centre. 

We also have an Environmental Education Officer who delivers education programs to local early learning centres and primary schools, as well as providing advice on environmental programs at local high schools. 

The programs include sessions and resources on koalas. 

Council continues to purchase environmentally significant land; large areas of koala habitat have been permanently protected, funded by our Environment Levy. Council continues to plant 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.

Council also has an Wildlife Connections Plan that manages, protects and enhances a network of core wildlife corridors throughout the Redlands Coast.

Council also works 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.

Council endorses and implements 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 20years. 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 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.

Ongoing research milestone reports:

Train the Driver

2020 Research report [PDF 0.8MB] Social Marketing @ Griffith University

Koala awareness

2020 Evaluation report [PDF 1MB] Social Marketing @ Griffith University

2020 Insight summary [PDF 1.5MB] Social Marketing @ Griffith University

2019 Evaluation report [PDF 1MB] Social Marketing @ Griffith University

Smart signs

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

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 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

Learn more

What's happening in Redlands Coast about koalas

Follow the IndigiScapes Facebook page for regular updates on our local koalas.