Koalas

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Our region has one of the largest koala populations in Australia and we are lucky to share our home with the iconic and unique animal.

Koalas are important to our region's identity, and it is our shared responsibility to ensure the longevity of koalas in the Port Macquarie Hastings.

The large koala population in our area requires careful management. We are working with government and other organisations to protect these iconic animals. You can help by being aware of threats to koalas and supporting the conservation work being done.

Koalas in our region

  • There are more than 2,000 koalas in our region.
  • Our koala population is one of the largest in NSW.
  • The main threats to koalas in our region are loss of habitat, road strikes and dog attacks.
  • Our joint initiatives are setting an example for koala conservation across Australia. 

Protecting koalas

We are working with all levels of government to protect our koalas and maintain the biodiversity of our region.  Our Koala Recovery Strategy(PDF, 3MB) and Koala Plans of Management aim to ensure the growth of our region is balanced with the protection of the koalas in our area.

Reducing road strikes

Unfortunately, koalas are expected to be extinct by 2050 unless we act to preserve their lives now. One of the biggest threats to our koala population is vehicle road strikes. In 2020, there were 41 reported road strikes in our region involving a koala, and of those 41 strikes, 33 incidents resulted in the death of the koala. 

By changing our behaviours on the road, we can reduce these numbers and trauma for our wildlife, and our community. 

Make sure to slow down when we see signs that tell us wildlife are out and about in the area. You can help by making these small changes:

  • Look for road signs and take notice of speed limits
  • Slow down in koala zones
  • Take extra care at dawn and dusk
  • Remember that when you’re on the road, you are in charge of protecting every life.  

Helping koalas in an emergency

If you see a koala in danger, injured or distressed, contact the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital Rescue Hotline on 6584 1522 (24 hour phone number).

Would you know the signs of a sick or injured koala? Below is a useful koala checklist for you to help our furry friends if you see them in trouble.

Signs a koala may be sick or injured can include:

  • red, inflamed or crusty eyes
  • very dirty, wet or brown bottom
  • signs of injury such as cuts, blood or fur loss
  • very skinny
  • not using all four limbs when climbing or walking
  • sitting at the base of a tree or in the same tree for several days

Report EVERY koala sighting

I spy koala is a citizen science app that allows anyone in NSW to record wild koala sightings. This data is crucial in helping us better understand and protect koalas across NSW and may assist in land use planning, mitigation for roadstrike and assessing impacts to koalas and their habitat. The data is uploaded to NSW Bionet Atlas from the APP.

Take the pledge now!

We are inviting residents and tourists to take the pledge to ‘Drive with Care Be Koala Aware’ to raise awareness and improve safety on our roads for all, including our koalas. Head to our ConnectEd website to learn more and take the pledge!

 

Koala Advisory Signs FAQs

Why did PMHC install koala advisory signs?

The signs are part of Council’s initiative to protect our koalas. These are funded by the NSW Government under the NSW Koala Strategy which supports a range of conservation actions to improve koala health and safety and secure their future for generations to come. 

Check out PMHC’s Koala Recovery Strategy and Koala Plan of Management to learn more. 

How many koala advisory signs has PMHC installed and where are they located?

Council has installed 12 Vehicle Activated Signs (VAS) across six priority hotspots within our LGA.

Location

Suburb

Signs

Speed zone

Lord St (Koala Hospital)

Port Macquarie

Northbound (currently out of action)

Southbound

50km

Kennedy Drive

Port Macquarie

Northbound (Wisteria Pl-Denning Pl)

Southbound (Allunga Ave)

50km

Ocean Drive

Port Macquarie

Northbound (between Greenmeadows Dr and Treeview Way)

Southbound (opposite Mackillop College)

70km

Lake Road

Port Macquarie

Eastbound (between Acacia Ave and Central Road)

Westbound (near Barton Cres)

50km

Ocean Drive (Golf Club)

Port Macquarie

Northbound (by Memorial Cct)

Southbound (north of clubhouse)

70km

Ocean Drive

West Haven

Northwestbound

Southeast bound

50km

 

How were the locations chosen?

PMHC used koala road strike records from the Atlas of NSW Wildlife and Koala Hospital to identify road strike hotspots.  

These hotspots were prioritised according to the number of incidents and date of those incidents. Sites with at least seven recorded incidents in the last six years (current koala generation) and a consistent number of incidents over the last 50 years were given the highest priority.  

Six priority road strike hotspots on roads managed by PMHC were chosen for the location of the koala advisory signs. 

Can PMHC install a koala advisory sign on my road?

Council staff evaluate all koala road strike records annually to determine locations where sings may be placed.  

It is important to note that a koala sighting is not, on its own, a reason to install koala advisory signs. Evidence indicates* installing too many signs will result in people not paying any attention to existing signs, so we need to ensure they are only placed where data shows koalas are at significant risk.  

Can PMHC reduce the speed at the koala advisory sign locations?

Speed limits in NSW are set by Transport for NSW (TfNSW) in accordance with their guidelines. The guidelines provide a statewide point of reference to ensure consistent application of speed limits across NSW. It is used to set and review speed limits in the Port Macquarie Hastings region. 

The locations for installing the koala advisory signs are based on records of koala road strike incidents. Unfortunately, wildlife strike is not part of the consideration TfNSW uses to determine speed zones. 

Council cannot adjust the speed limits at these locations because we do not set the speeds limits.