Report koala sightings
If you see a wild koala in Queensland, report it to the Department of Environment and Science by using the free QWildlife app for iOS and Android.
Reporting sightings of koalas helps to plan conservation actions.
If you find sick or injured wildlife, call 1300 ANIMAL (1300 264 625).
Our plan to help koalas
We are part of an Australia-wide effort to protect these iconic Australian animals.
Locally, the Sunshine Coast koala conservation plan (PDF, 3.3MB) guides our efforts to preserve our local koala population.
Our plan identifies 5 desired outcomes to protect koalas locally:
- building our knowledge about Sunshine Coast koala populations
- koala conservation incorporated into planning and policy processes
- koala conservation through partnerships and community engagement
- minimise the impact of threatening processes on koala population
- advocate, educate and lead by example.
Ways you can help when koalas are on the move and breeding
The breeding season for koalas is from August to February. This is a time of increased movement for koalas.
How to help
- drive carefully and look out for koalas crossing roads from dawn until dusk
- contain your dog at night and provide them with wildlife avoidance skills to protect koalas
- contact your nearest wildlife rescue or 1300 ANIMAL for QLD if you come across a sick or injured koala
- consider koala-friendly fencing options. If you have a fence that may prevent koalas from accessing safe habitat, consider adding a simple escape route such as a timber post positioned at an angle to the fence. This allows koalas to climb over the fence and escape danger
- make your pool koala-safe by ensuring you have safe escape options such as a rope in the pool.
Peak birth period
Once conceived, it is only 35 days before the birth of the baby koala, called a “joey”. Most joeys are born over the summer months.
How to help
- if you see a joey alone on the ground, don't hesitate to pick it up gently, wrap it in a towel, and keep it warm
- once you have the joey safe and warm, call your nearest wildlife rescue or RSPCA QLD on 1300 ANIMAL (264 625).
The dispersal season is when young koalas leave their mums and head out on their own. The dispersal season generally runs at about the same time as the breeding season.
How to help
Let's all do our part to protect these vulnerable young koalas by taking the simple steps listed under breeding season.
Ways you can help reduce threats to koalas
The biggest threats to koalas are habitat loss, disease, vehicle strikes and dog attacks.
Creating a koala-friendly environment in your backyard is a simple way to help protect these animals:
- plant native trees and shrubs that koalas love, like Queensland blue gum and grey ironbark
- contain your dog at night and provide them with wildlife avoidance skills
- create koala-friendly fencing by adding a simple escape route such as a timber post positioned at an angle to the fence
- make your pool koala-safe by attaching a thick rope to a floating device or place an escape board for them to grab/jump onto if they fall in the pool.
Chlamydia bacterial infection is one of the leading causes of death for koalas. Learn how to identify a sick or injured koala by looking out for these signs:
- a wet and dirty bottom
- swollen/pink or crusty eyes
- signs of cuts or bleeding
- sitting at the base of a tree for an extended period of time
- very skinny.
If you spot a koala who you think may need help, call your nearest wildlife rescue or the RSPCA QLD on 1300 ANIMAL (264 625).
While koalas spend much of their time in trees, they also need to come to ground to move around their home range. Vehicle-related koala mortality has the most significant impact on koalas after habitat clearing and fragmentation, affecting about 300 koalas per year in Southeast Queensland’s alone.
Koalas have little awareness of how dangerous a busy road can be. By following a few simple practices you can help to make roads safer for koalas:
- slowing down from dawn until dusk
- being alert for koalas and other wildlife on the roadside
- using high beam lights mindfully when driving at night
- contacting your nearest wildlife rescue or 1300 ANIMAL for QLD if you come across a sick or injured koala.
Sadly, dogs are one of the biggest threats koalas face. Koalas don’t regard our dogs as predators, and this can leave them in a dangerous position if they encounter them.
Here are a few simple ways you can keep your dog happy and our koalas safe:
- keep your dog inside at night when koalas are most active
- create an escape route for koala's incase they enter your backyard, simply place a timber post positioned at an angle your fence
- train your dog in wildlife aversion with the Leave It program, find out more www.leaveit.com.au.
Drowning in backyard swimming pools
Although koalas can swim, they are at risk of drowning if they accidentally fall into a pool and can't climb out. To prevent this from happening, it's essential to have a koala-friendly pool.
Here are some tips to help you keep koalas safe:
- secure a thick rope to a floating device and attach it to a tree or a post at the side of the pool. The other end of the rope should be in the water
- fence the pool area with a koala-proof fence made from transparent glass, Perspex or steel
- when not in use, cover your pool with a tight pool cover to prevent them from accidentally falling in
- install an escape ramp or stairs in your pool to help koalas get out of the water if they fall in.
Go to wildlifewatcher.com.au for information on what to do if you see a koala, and more ways you can help them.