The Koala has suffered a decline in numbers and distribution in recent history. The loss and degradation of habitat is the most significant threat facing NSW Koala populations. Most populations now survive in fragmented and isolated habitat.
Koalas are a threatened species, and have been listed as Vulnerable under both the NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act, 1995 and Commonwealth Environmental Protection Biodiversity Conservation Act, 1999.
The Campbelltown Local Government Area (LGA) is unique in that it supports the only disease free koala population in the Sydney Basin, being unaffected by Chlamydia.
Threats to the survival of the koala population in Campbelltown include bushfire, loss of habitat for agriculture and residential development, predation by domestic and feral animals, and motor vehicle fatalities.
Council is undertaking a number of initiatives including the development of a Comprehensive Koala Plan of Management for Campbelltown which aims to address threats and improve habitat for the future of koalas in Campbelltown.
Greater Macarthur Koala Partnership Forum - March 2019
On Wednesday 6 March 2019, Council hosted the Greater Macarthur Koala Partnership Forum at the Campbelltown Art Centre. The Forum was established as a result of a notice of motion from Councillors at the Ordinary Council Meeting of the 9 October, 2018. The Forum builds on Councils long-term commitment to koala care and conservation in the region, and a number of industry and community koala experts were engaged to present on the key issues and threats affecting the long-term viability of koalas in the Greater Macarthur region.
A total of fifty-four people attended the Forum with representation from a range of stakeholder groups including Campbelltown and Wollondilly Council Mayors and councillors, State and Commonwealth local members, State and Commonwealth government agencies, community advocacy groups, researchers and scientists, veterinarians, developers and landowners. The theme of the Forum was 'Local Issues, Collaborative Solutions' , to recognise that while the issues relating to the care and conservation of koalas are regional specific, the actions required to address these issues are the responsibility of a broad range of stakeholders; both within and outside the Greater Macarthur region. An outcomes report is currently being prepared, and is scheduled to be reported to Councillors in May 2019.
Revising the draft Comprehensive Koala Plan of Management - July 2018
Council has prepared a revised draft Campbelltown Comprehensive Koala Plan of Management(21MB, PDF) (Biolink, 2018) which was endorsed by Council at its Ordinary Meeting on the 10 July 2018, and submitted to the Department of Planning and Environment (DoPE) for approval. Revisions to the plan were undertaken in response to feedback received from the DoPE on the draft plan - and include a number of updates that have been incorporated into the document to ensure consistency with the provisions of NSW State Environmental Planning Policy 44 (Koala Habitat Protection).
South Campbelltown Koala Habitat Connectivity Study - November 2017
Council engaged koala expert Dr Steve Phillips of Biolink to undertake a comprehensive assessment of koalas and their habitat in the south Campbelltown area, located within the Greater Macarthur Priority Growth Area. The aim of the study was to provide evidence-based advice and guidance on the viability of koala habitat and connectivity within existing corridors in the region. A final report was prepared for the study, and endorsed by Council at its Ordinary Council Meeting on the 13 March 2018.
Strategic koala habitat corridor study - March 2017
Council has been successful in securing grant funding from the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage Saving our Species program to undertake a study to identify key koala habitat corridors in the Campbelltown LGA. The corridor study will enable Council to focus restoration efforts in priority areas in order to achieve the most effective conservation outcomes for the local koala population, and assist in guiding development.
As part of this study, Council is conducting a number of site assessments on both public and privately owned properties, and as such we are currently seeking expressions of interest from Campbelltown residents interested in participating in this study. To express your interest in participating, or if you would like further information regarding the program, please contact Council's Natural Areas Team on (02) 4645 4500 or via email at email@example.com.
Increase in reports of koala mortalities during the annual breeding season - November 2016
Council is encouraging residents to look out for koalas as they move about during the annual breeding season. The breeding season is from August - February, a time where male koalas are more active as they disperse to search for new territories and mating opportunities.
In the first few weeks of November 2016, wildlife carers reported five koala mortalities in just four days within areas of core koala habitat within the Campbelltown LGA. Three of these koala deaths were the result of domestic dog attacks that could have been prevented had the dogs been contained at night. The other two koala deaths were as a result of koalas being hit by cars while attempting to cross busy roads.
Public Exhibition of the draft Campbelltown Comprehensive Koala Plan of Management - May 2016
Council has prepared a draft Campbelltown Comprehensive Koala Plan of Management (Biolink, 2016) in accordance with the provisions of NSW State Environmental Planning Policy 44 (Koala Habitat Protection). The Plan provides a strategic approach to the protection, restoration, and management of the local koala population, and provides a consistent framework for the local assessment of development applications in core koala habitat within the Campbelltown Local Government Area (LGA).
The draft Plan will be on exhibition for public comment from Wednesday 25 May 2016 until Wednesday 22 June 2016. For more information head to the Have Your Say section of this site.
Council has produced a Q&A Factsheet(1MB, PDF) to answer some of the more frequently asked questions about the draft CKPoM.
Installation of bus shelter advertising to improve driver safety awareness of koalas crossing roads - April 2016
Council has commenced the installation of a bus shelter advertising campaign to increase driver awareness of koalas crossing roads. The advertising campaign has been successfully implemented in the following locations:
- Collins Promenade, Minto
- Epping Forest, Kearns
- Feldspar Street, Eaglevale
- Hurley Street, Campbelltown
- Kellerman Drive, St Helens Park
- Kellicar Road, Campbelltown
- Moore Oxley Bypass, Campbelltown
- Railway Parade, Glenfield
- Rosewood Drive, Glenquarie
- Saywell Road, Macquarie Fields
Local Land Services Grant: Mitigating key threats to the Campbelltown koala population - January 2016
Council has been successful in receiving grant funding from the Greater Sydney Local Land Services (GSLLS), for a biodiversity conservation project to be undertaken in core koala habitat in various locations across the Campbelltown Local Government Area (LGA). The project aims to reduce the impacts of road fatalities, dog attacks and habitat loss on the local koala population.
The project will enhance connectivity for Campbelltown's koala population by restoring an important functional koala corridor in the St Helens Park region, with a particular focus on peri-urban linkages. The works will focus on an area of Shale Sandstone Transition Forest, a State and Commonwealth listed critically endangered ecological community, and include the planting of koala food and habitat trees.
The project also incorporates a strong environmental awareness and community engagement program, including undertaking:
- The design and installation of targeted bus shelter advertising to raise awareness of koalas crossing roads, particularly during the annual breeding season
- A traffic awareness campaign involving the purchase of a Variable Message Signboard (VMS) that can be moved to strategic roadside locations in response to koala sightings
- The development and distribution of a community educational flyer on the management of domestic dogs in core koala habitat.
Finalising the Campbelltown Comprehensive Koala Plan of Management for 2016
Campbelltown has one of the last known populations of koalas in the Sydney region, and has been nominated under the Recovery Plan as a priority area for the formulation of a Comprehensive Koala Plan of Management (CKPoM).
Section 69 of the TSC Act requires Council to prepare the CKPoM under the provisions of State Environmental Planning Policy No. 44 - Koala Habitat Protection (SEPP44). The Campbelltown CKPoM is being prepared in accordance with the provisions of SEPP44, and will provide a strategic approach to the protection, management, and restoration of koala habitat for the entire LGA.
The Plan is scheduled to go on public exhibition in mid 2016.
Get involved in the Koala Count -7 - 22 November 2015
Koala Count is a national citizen science survey developed by wildlife experts at the National Parks Association of NSW.Every year, the NPA engage with conservation enthusiasts from all walks of life around Australia to build a comprehensive picture of Koala numbers and locations.
Read more about 2015 Koala Count.
Reducing dog attacks on local koalas - October 2015
Domestic dogs can cause death and injury to koalas. This can occur either when koalas enter yards that contain dogs or when dogs are allowed to roam into nearby bushland. Dog owners are advised to keep their dogs leashed in all public areas (other than designated off leash areas), and to, where possible keep your dog indoors at night or confined to a smaller enclosure in the backyard.
Council is currently in the process of developing educational material to raise awareness of the threat to koalas from roaming dogs, and to promote responsible pet ownership.
Read more here: Predation by dogs listed is listed as a key threatening process.
This month is Wildlife Awareness Month - August 2015
The University of Sydney Avian, Reptile and Exotic Pet Hospital in Camden has named August its wildlife awareness month. The Hospital will be showcasing many unique cases and stories on their Facebook page.
Read more here: University of Sydney Avian, Reptile and Exotic Pet Hospital.
Visual Message Signboards for koala breeding season - August 2015
Council has launched a traffic awareness safety campaign to encourage motorists to be aware of koalas crossing roads during the annual breeding season.
A visual message signboard (VMS) has been placed at the intersection of Georges River Road and Junction Road in Leumeah, to encourage motorists to slow down and be vigilant when driving through the area. Both Ruse Public School and Leumeah High School are supporting the campaign by incorporating road safety messages on school noticeboards.
Koala Food Tree Planting event for National Tree Day - July 2015
The Koala Food Tree Planting Day held at Smiths Creek Reserve, on Sunday 26 July in celebration of National Tree Day was an overwhelming success. Close to 100 community members helped to plant 500 seedlings within the reserve adjacent to Georges River Road. The plants were comprised of native canopy species, consistent with the critically endangered Shale Sandstone Transition Forest community present in the Reserve.
In addition to this, close to 100 Koala food tree seedlings of species endemic to the Campbelltown Local Government Area (LGA) were provided to participants for planting on their own properties.
Read more here: Planet Ark National Tree Day site details.
Installation of koala crossing warning signs - February 2015
Council has installed 18 new signs throughout the LGA, in addition to making upgrades to 12 existing signs. The signs have been installed in strategic locations targeting high risk areas where Koala road fatalities have been recorded, and include predominately bushland areas in and around Minto Heights, Ruse, Leumeah, Kentlyn, St Helens Park, Appin and Wedderburn.