Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus)
Koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus) are native Australian tree-dwelling marsupials with predominantly grey coloured fur. They live in a range of temperate, sub-tropical and tropical forest, woodland and semi-arid communities dominated by eucalypt species.
Koalas in some regions face increasing threats from urban expansion, disease, habitat loss, vehicle strike, and predation by dogs, and from their susceptibility to drought and climate change. However, the health, size and status of koala populations differ significantly across Australia.
Listing of the species under national environment law
After considering scientific advice from the Threatened Species Scientific Committee, Environment Minister Tony Burke has listed the Queensland, New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory koala populations as vulnerable under national environment law.
For more information, read the fact sheet on the koala listing.
Habitat of protected populations
The map below shows what we know about where koala habitat exists in these states, which is a good indication of where they are likely to occur.
INDICATIVE MAP ONLY: Habitat distributions are compiled using a range of datasets of varying quality and should only be used as a guide. The presence of the species or its habitat should be confirmed by using local information sources. Further information is available through the department's Protected Matters Search Tool.
Federal listing of these koala populations will strengthen the protections that are already in place for the species. But this doesn't mean that all activities in these areas will now require federal environmental approval.
More information can be found in the koala listing FAQs for industry, developers, landholders and landowners.
Interim referral advice
The department is currently developing EPBC Act referral guidelines for the vulnerable koala. These guidelines are intended to assist proponents to determine whether they need to refer their actions for assessment under the EPBC Act. The development of these guidelines will require expert and public consultation over the coming months.
In the interim, the department has developed preliminary advice on whether you may need to refer your action.
The Interim koala referral advice for proponents is based on the current understanding of the ecology and biology of the koala (as detailed in the Species Profile and Threats Database - Koala profile) and written in accordance with Significant impact guidelines 1.1 - Matters of Environmental Significance. This advice complements the koala species listing fact sheet and should be read in conjunction with the Significant impact guidelines 1.1 - Matters of Environmental Significance.
State government information
For state-specific information about koala habitat, programs and their protection under state environment laws go to:
- New South Wales
- South Australia