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Southern Highlands

The NSW Government is extending a Regional Koala Conservation Partnership with Wingecarribee Shire Council under the NSW Koala Strategy.

Additional funding is also being provided for koala habitat restoration, vehicle strike mitigation and to support the creation of koala habitat maps, bringing the NSW Government’s total investment in the Southern Highlands to more than $1.2 million.

What is the Southern Highlands Regional Koala Conservation Partnership?

The NSW Government is investing $600,000 under the NSW Koala Strategy to fund the continuation of a Regional Koala Conservation Partnership with Wingecarribee Shire Council

This funding supports the appointment of a dedicated Koala Officer based at Wingecarribee Shire Council, who will strategically coordinate local projects aligned with the Koala Strategy to help conserve koalas and their habitat in the region.

Other agencies and organisations that will be involved include National Parks and Wildlife Service, NSW Biodiversity Conservation Trust, South East Local Land Services, WaterNSW, Forestry NSW, the University of Sydney, the Koala Health Hub, Gundungurra Aboriginal Heritage Association, Bidjewong Aboriginal Corporation and Rivers of Carbon. 

What work will be undertaken in this region?

The project, in association with Wingecarribee Shire Council, will build on the success of the previous strategy and implement a range of on-ground actions, informed by community and scientific expertise, to protect local koala populations and their habitat under the 4 pillars of the Koala Strategy:

  • koala habitat conservation and restoration
  • supporting local communities to conserve koalas
  • improving the safety and health of koalas
  • building our knowledge of koalas.

A Koala Officer, based at Wingecarribee Shire Council, will work to achieve the goals of the partnership, and implement koala conservation actions, including:

  • coordinating koala habitat restoration on private land
  • coordinating the koala monitoring program
  • supporting the local koala carer community
  • community engagement and education
  • developing core koala habitat and corridor maps.

The NSW Koala Strategy has funded the restoration of 50 hectares of koala habitat on private land and in Guula Ngurra National Park, Bangadilly National Park, Wollondilly Nature Reserve and Upper Nepean State Conservation Area, as well as supporting the creation of koala habitat maps in the Wingecarribee local government area. 

Further funding is allocated to pilot strategies to reduce the impact of vehicle strike on the local koala population, bringing the NSW Government’s total investment in Southern Highlands koalas to more than $1.2 million.

Why is the Koala Strategy focusing on this region?

Koalas of the Southern Highlands are one of 19 populations across NSW that are identified as a priority for immediate investment under the Koala Strategy.

The Southern Highlands is home to an estimated 3,000 koalas and has 2 of the 10 stronghold koala populations in New South Wales: the Great Western Wildlife Corridor (Canyonleigh) and the Upper Nepean State Conservation Area on the Woronora Plateau. The Upper Nepean Koala Stronghold supports a very large population of koalas and is an important refuge area from the impacts of climate change. The Great Western Wildlife Corridor Stronghold is a critical landscape scale connection between the Blue Mountains and Morton wilderness areas. 
Other regional partnerships have been established across the state, backed by a total investment of $15.7 million, to ensure community expertise and local knowledge are informing on-ground actions.