Wild dog control to protect koalas
  • Last updated:
  • 31 May 2020

This information is available as a factsheet 

Sunshine Coast Council and Department of Transport and Main Roads will be working together in the Ilkley area over the next three months to control wild dogs and foxes in an effort to protect koalas and other native wildlife.

Native animals needing protection

Koalas move regularly around their home range to visit preferred food and shelter trees, to survey their territory, and for breeding and social interaction. Juvenile koalas may need to disperse for several kilometres to locate a suitable area to establish their own home range. In peri-urban areas, koala movements often involve venturing into backyards that are adjacent to or between patches of bushland habitat.

Most koala movements between trees involve travelling on the ground, mainly between dusk and dawn. By following a few simple responsible pet ownership guidelines, the risk of dog attacks on koalas and pet injury during pest animal control programs can be greatly reduced.

Dogs and koalas

A dog can seriously injure or kill a koala from a single bite. Even though signs of a bite may not be visible on a koala from the outside, when bitten, there’s potential for significant internal damage or a life-threatening infection.

Guidelines for responsible pet ownership

Keep your dog safely contained at all times.

  • Ensuring your dog does not have free access to roam beyond your property will help ensure safe koala movement.
  • It is an offence to allow your dog or cat to roam off your property.
  • Ensuring your pet is kept on your property ensures they are safe from incurring injury to themselves during control programs.

Keep your dog under effective control.

  • It is an offence to allow your dog off leash in any public area other than a designated off-leash area.
  • This includes all paths leading up to an off-leash area.
  • In some suburbs koalas commonly use habitat trees within dog exercise areas. If you see a koala on the ground in this area, please place your dog on a lead until the koala climbs back up to safety.
  • Ensuring your pets are kept under your control ensures they are safe from incurring injury during control programs.

Install koala friendly fencing.

  • Fencing which allows koalas to climb out of your yard will assist them if they do encounter a dog.

Don’t assume your dog is friendly.

  • When approached by an unfamiliar animal in their own backyard, a dog may feel threatened and might react in an unexpected manner.

Guidelines for during the control program

When are control activities occurring?

The control program is timed to target young and mature wild dogs and foxes following the breeding season. Control activities will commence in February 2020 and continue through to May 2020. Please take note of signage in the area.

Where will control activities be occurring?

  • Control activities will be occurring in bushland areas within council reserves. The program area will be clearly identified by warning signs placed at all entrances.
  • Control activities will NOT be occurring on public pathways, roadsides, or within five metres of a boundary fence.

How will foxes be controlled?

The program will use soft-catch foothold traps that are regularly checked to humanely control foxes.

What to do if your find an injured koala?

  • Do not touch the koala.
  • If possible, place a bin or box over koala and place a weight on top. This will help calm the koala and contain it.
  • Call 1300 ANIMAL (1300 264 625).