Why koalas are important

Koalas are an iconic Australian marsupial important to Aboriginal culture and traditional practices and our state’s biodiversity, but koala populations across NSW are in trouble. Without action, they risk extinction in the wild by 2050.

Why koalas are at risk

Koala populations have been in decline due to a loss of habitat, climate change and natural disasters and disease. Koalas are also vulnerable to injury and death when crossing roads, and through dog attack.  

The 2019–20 bushfires resulted in a sudden and significant loss of remaining populations and habitat. It’s estimated at least 5,000 koalas died during the fires and 1.9 million hectares of koala habitat in eastern NSW was lost. 

Koalas are listed as an endangered species in NSW.

How you can save koalas on your property

You can protect koala habitat and contribute to the survival of koalas in the wild by entering into a conservation agreement with the NSW Biodiversity Conservation Trust. 

Our commitment under the NSW Koala Strategy is to conserve 7000 hectares of koala habitat on private land across NSW.

Protect koalas with a conservation agreement

If your land is home to koalas, or you have koala habitat on your property, you can permanently protect it under a conservation agreement with the NSW Biodiversity Conservation Trust.

With your koala habitat protected by an voluntary conservation agreement, you can also:

  • access conservation management advice from our ecologists.
  • join a statewide network of private land conservationists.
  • participate in citizen science programs.
  • apply for grants of up to $45,000 to use over three years.
  • contribute to the National Reserve System.

You may also benefit from certain local government rate and land tax concessions.

Eligibility

Areas of native vegetation are generally eligible for a conservation agreement if they:

  • are at least 20 hectares in size
  • are in moderate to good condition
  • support threatened species habitat or an ecosystem not already well protected by our National Parks and reserves

NSW Biodiversity Conservation Trust staff will assist you in determining if your native vegetation is eligible for a conservation agreement.

Submit your interest

A conservation agreement with the NSW Biodiversity Conservation Trust is your long-term commitment to preserve koala habitat. This commitment carries forward with the land, in-perpetuity, meaning the koala habitat remains in place for future landholders.

To submit your interest and start a conversation about protecting koala habitat on your property, phone us at 1300 992 688, or email [email protected], with the subject line "I'd like to protect koalas on my property".

Please tell us where you're located in NSW so we can connect you with the right regional office.

FAQs

Find answers to the questions we’re frequently asked about our conservation agreements.

If you’re unsure about whether your property has suitable koala habitat to protect under a conservation agreement, please ask. 

The NSW Biodiversity Conservation Trust has experts who will help you assess the habitat on your property and confirm if koala food trees are present, and look for signs of koalas. Your property may still be eligible for a conservation agreement even if there are no koala food trees present.

The first step in establishing a conservation agreement is to submit an expression of interest.

Koalas are picky eaters and their preferred food trees vary depending on which part of NSW you are in. They do feed almost exclusively on eucalyptus leaves and having the right kind of vegetation is important to sustain a koala population. 

NSW Biodiversity Conservation Trust ecologists and expert staff can inform you of the tree species koalas prefer in your local area. 

To explore a conservation agreement for your property, submit an expression of interest.

Areas of native vegetation are generally eligible for a conservation agreement if they are at least 20 hectares in size and in moderate to good condition.

Koala habitat is widespread across NSW but varies greatly in quality. Koalas in some areas only need a few hectares each to meet their needs, while in other areas more habitat and land is required. Koalas need well-connected habitat that extends across the landscape. This means we cannot rely solely on the habitat within national parks to be enough to ensure their survival. 

Conservation of koala habitat on private land is critical in ensuring a future for the species and protecting them from the many threats they face.
To explore a conservation agreement for your property, submit an expression of interest.

No. It’s simply an opportunity to explore further whether you are eligible to enter a conservation agreement to permanently protect koala habitat. 

Conservation agreements that provide landholders with income for conserving koala habitat are only available in targeted areas and within limited timeframes. Open conservation tenders are advertised, or you may be eligible to consider a fixed price offer.

while they do not receive annual conservation management payments, voluntary conservation agreements do provide the following benefits:

  • access conservation management advice from our ecologists.
  • join a statewide network of private land conservationists.
  • participate in citizen science programs.
  • apply for grants of up to $45,000 to use over three years.
  • contribute to the National Reserve System.

You may also benefit from certain local government rate and land tax concessions.

We’d love for you to be involved in supporting koala conservation. 

The NSW Koala Strategy is a program of the NSW Government’s Department of Planning and Environment. 

It has many opportunities to get involved, including:

  • wildlife rehabilitation groups.
  • citizen science apps to report koala sightings.
  • wildlife rescue groups.

You can learn more about these opportunities on the NSW Koala Strategy's pages.

Inquiries

Phone: 1300 992 688
Email: [email protected]
Office locations: Visit our regional map