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Building our knowledge

Under the NSW Koala Strategy, $43.4 million is being invested over 5 years to fill knowledge gaps and better understand koala populations.

This knowledge will be used to inform conservation actions under Pillars 1, 2 and 3 of the strategy, as well as NSW Government policy decisions related to koalas.

There is still much more to learn about koala populations and the best way to effectively manage them over time. We need to identify the most appropriate method of surveying koala populations and establish baseline population and health data for koala populations. We also need to fill important gaps in our understanding of key threats to koalas.

Key investments and 2026 targets include:

  • $20.5 million to collect baseline data for 50 populations by 2025
  • $14.4 million to deliver a monitoring program at a minimum of 20 sites
  • $3.5 million to update spatial layers on the Koala Habitat Information Base
  • $5 million to fund priority research projects identified in the NSW Koala Research Plan.

Baseline data

The NSW Government is investing $20.5 million to deliver a baseline of the current statewide occurrence, distribution and relative abundance of koalas, and health and genetics status of up to 50 koala populations by 2025.

This information will provide essential data to inform the management and conservation of koala populations. Genetic data will also inform a koala translocation program and decisions about potential captive breeding programs.

The program will use the best available science and encourage private sector input from philanthropic and corporate partners.

Monitoring program

The NSW Government is investing $14.4 million to implement a koala monitoring program and deliver a dashboard of management actions and trajectories for a minimum of 20 sites.

This program will monitor populations, habitat, disease, genetic diversity and threats, increasing our understanding of koalas and the key factors to ensure their long-term resilience, and enabling future measurement of progress against the 30-year goal of doubling koala numbers in New South Wales by 2050.

A dashboard will track the effectiveness of actions delivered under this strategy, helping to identify opportunities to refine and improve conservation actions as the program continues.

Koala Habitat Information Base

The NSW Government is investing $3.5 million to update and maintain the Koala Habitat Information Base and effectively manage koala data.

The NSW Government will continue refining and improving the Koala Habitat Information Base and supporting spatial and mapping products to ensure they remain current and continue to inform koala conservation decisions.

This will include further refuge modelling to identify areas that may serve as refuges from fire, heat stress or drought.

Priority research projects

The NSW Government is investing $5 million to address priority knowledge gaps identified in the Koala Research Plan 2019–28.

Research priorities include the impacts of climate change and extreme weather events on koalas and their habitat, and koala disease interventions. The findings of these research projects will inform actions under the strategy and NSW Government koala conservation policy decisions.

The NSW Government will continue to oversee the Koala Research Plan and hold biennial research symposia to review progress and update key knowledge gaps identified in the plan. 


Full information on actions and targets under Pillar 4 is provided in the NSW Koala Strategy.