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Overview

We are developing a MidCoast Koala Strategy to help guide the conservation, recovery and long-term management of koala populations in the MidCoast.

The MidCoast Koala Strategy forms part of the broad koala conservation program in the MidCoast, called the Koala Safe Spaces Program. While the Koala Safe Spaces Program has so far focused on gathering data and developing community awareness about koala conservation, the MidCoast Koala Strategy will document management actions for koala recovery and conservation. The strategy will be informed by koala sightings data, habitat mapping, applied scientific knowledge and the ideas and perspectives of stakeholders and the community.

Timeline

  • Timeline item 1 - complete

    27 November 2023 - 11 February 2024

    Community consultation – drop-in sessions, surveys, koala reference group workshop.

  • Timeline item 2 - active

    February - March 2024

    The draft strategy will be written based on community and stakeholder feedback

  • Timeline item 3 - incomplete

    April - May 2024

    The draft strategy will go out on public exhibition

  • Timeline item 4 - incomplete

    May - June 2024

    The strategy will be finalised based on the final round of community feedback

  • Timeline item 5 - incomplete

    Mid 2024

    The strategy will be adopted by Council

The MidCoast Koala Strategy will support the New South Wales Koala Strategy 2021-2026, which aims to double the koala population by 2050. MidCoast Council is a Regional Partner to the NSW Koala Strategy. We have engaged environmental consultants NGH Consulting to work with us to develop the Strategy.

The Strategy also delivers on the Community Strategic Plan 2022-2032 objective of protecting and enhancing our natural environment whilst maintaining our growing urban centres and using our resources wisely. The development of the Koala Strategy is also a major project in Council’s Delivery Program and Operational Plan 2022-2024.

Draft koala habitat maps have been prepared for three areas across the MidCoast. These are examples and show what the mapping in the Draft Strategy could look like. The Draft Koala Strategy will be exhibited with the completed mapping.

The presence of koalas is dependent on the availability of preferred koala food tree species. Forest red gum and tallowwood are examples of preferred koala food tree species.

Where a plant community type contains satisfactory numbers of preferred koala food tree species, then the type has been mapped as “likely koala habitat”.

Therefore, likely koala habitats are mapped forests and woodlands that contain stands of preferred koala food trees. These areas can be expected to support local koala populations.

The overall map is divided into grids. Where there have been records of koalas over several generations or there are current records or sightings within a grid, then all the “likely koala habitat” in that grid is considered to be “occupied koala habitat”.

Occupied koala habitats are mapped suitable habitats where there is current koalas or persistent recorded evidence of koalas.

It is important to note that some likely koala habitats may contain koalas. Knowledge of where koalas occur is incomplete. Further, the mapping of likely koala habitats is mapped on state-wide vegetation mapping, which may also contain some discrepancies.

Koala corridors have not yet been mapped and are not shown on the examples below.

State Forests and National Parks have not been assessed.

Khappinghat koala map

Kundle koala map

Tea Gardens koala map

MidCoast wide koala population map

The pink dots show recorded locations of koalas across the region. This data is incomplete and areas without dots may contain populations of koalas.

What's next?

Following this first phase of community consultation, we will draft the MidCoast Koala Strategy. The draft Koala Strategy will go on public exhibition for a period of 25 working days, providing a final opportunity to comment on the Strategy.

In the future, Council may look to convert the Koala Strategy to a Comprehensive Koala Plan of Management. This will depend on the direction taken by the NSW Government under the State Environmental Planning Policy. Such a transition would involve new and separate extensive consultation and direct and formal communications with landholders.

What else are we doing to help koalas?

The Koala Strategy forms part of Council's Koala Safe Spaces Program. Learn more about the program here.

We acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we work and live, the Gathang-speaking people and pay our respects to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who now reside in the MidCoast Council area. We extend our respect to elders past and present, and to all future cultural-knowledge holders.

Contact us

Email: haveyoursay@midcoast.nsw.gov.au

www.midcoast.nsw.gov.au

General enquiries - (02)7955 7777

Open Monday - Friday 8.30am to 4.30pm (excluding public holidays)

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