Our koala conservation projects

Koala wildlife road sign.jpg

Koala conservation projects aim to secure Byron Shire’s koalas by reducing threats; ensuring habitat protection, management and restoration; and maintaining healthy breeding populations.

North East Hinterland Koala Project 2019-21

Funded by the NSW Saving Our Species program, this project is a partnership between Tweed, Byron, Ballina and Lismore Councils, and Friends of the Koala. In Byron Shire, the project aims to restore an additional 2.8 hectares of koala habitat on private land, as well as engaging with landholders to register with the Biodiversity Conservation Trust to protect their habitat through a Conservation Agreement.

Byron Habitat Corridors 2017-20

Funded by the NSW Environmental Trust, the project focuses on rebuilding 10 hectares of Eucalypt forest ecosystems for koalas in areas identified by the Byron Coast Comprehensive Koala Plan of Management and the latest habitat restoration literature. 

A strong focus of the project is the inclusion of landowners who are keen to manage their land for long-term threatened species protection leading by example. Sites have been planted in Skinners Shoot, Brunswick Heads, Myocum and the outskirts of Mullumbimby.

North Coast Koala Linkage Project 2017-20

Funded by the Environment Levy and the Australian Research Council, this project is led by the University of Queensland, the University of Sydney and Southern Cross University in partnership with Friends of the Koala and Byron Shire as well as other local governments.

The project is developing a novel, integrated socio-ecological approach to connect landscapes and communities to recover threatened koala populations by:

  • spatially modelling koala habitat occupancy
  • assessing the location-specific community sentiment and willingness to positively engage in koala conservation and recovery programs
  • developing strategies for monitoring the effectiveness of the implementation of on-ground management and recovery actions 

Koala Watch Project 2017-20

Funded by the Environment Levy and NSW Environmental Trust, this project is led by Friends of the Koala in partnership with Byron Shire and other local Councils.  The project empowers individuals in local communities who live with koalas to gain knowledge and skills to be proactive in the early detection of major threats to koala populations and to undertake actions that reduce or eliminate threats.

Focusing on disease (Chlamydia and Retrovirus), dogs, vehicle strikes, and catastrophic fire and storm events, the project delivers workshops and educational materials enabling local communities to identify distress signs in koalas and works closely with rural and urban communities, schools, and industry (e.g. emergency services, dairy, beef, orchardists, floodplain croppers, lifestyle landholders).

Award winning Koala Connections 2012-16

Funded by the Australian Government, Koala Connections was a $2.1 million collaborative project between Byron Shire Council and Tweed Shire Council that restored and reconnected koala habitat to provide a secure future for koalas. Key outcomes included:

  • >73,000 trees planted on over 120 sites
  • 55 hectares of new, and 150 hectares of improved koala habitat, respectively
  • > 800 people attending training, working bees and other events
  • Vertebrate pest management control over nearly 4,000 hectares
  • New resources to improve fire management benefiting koalas and their habitat
  • Proven success of pesticide free techniques for revegetation at two sites
  • Planting establishment rates > 90%