Reconnecting koala habitats across Dungog

Reconnecting koala habitats across Dungog

Capacity to Deliver -

LEP 028 002-2.

The issue

The NSW Koala Strategy 2021 - 2026 has identified areas of Regional koala Significance and put forward priority actions which include koala habitat conservation, supporting local communities to conserve koalas, improving the safety and health of koalas, and building our knowledge of koalas.  

The mapping as part of the Strategy identified Koala ARKS (Areas of Regional Koala Significance), one of which (Barrington ARKS) falls within the Hunter Region.  Private lands play a crucial role in improving and connecting habitat across the region (in and outside of established ARKS); Citizen science has great potential for filling data gaps to help inform koala conservation efforts.  Hunter Region Landcare Network (HRLN) has been working to bring awareness to the community about this; Other organisations such as Hunter Local Land Services (HLLS) and Biodiversity Conservation Trust (BCT) have also been working in this space. 

The solution

After discussions with stakeholders, it was decided to run a Koala Habitat Restoration Workshop in Dungog in late May 2024, offering a collaborative platform to address critical data gaps and enhance community understanding and involvement in koala habitat restoration. The event featured a rich agenda of presentation and activities focused on practical restoration and conservation techniques as well as programs available to support landholders.

Represented were HLLS, BCT, HRLN, DCCEEW, Dungog Common Recreation Reserve Land Management Trust, Dungog Commoners Landcare, who each presented information on their expertise and role in habitat conservation and science and opportunities available to landholders needing support for on-ground actions.  Whitney Ridgeway, HLLS, gave a heartfelt welcome to Country and led us through a walk and talk on cultural management on the Dungog Common and the significance of the koala to traditional people and connectedness of people of all walks of life to Country- a real inspiration.


The impact

Over 35 community members attended the workshop along with stakeholder organisations.  Valuable information was presented and this gathering was a the start of a bigger initiative which will continue.  The HLLS koala landholder program is available for landholders in and around the Barrington ARKS;  The HRLN Koala paddock tree program is allowing landholders to obtain electric fencing to put around an isolated paddock tree to bring about a new generation of koala feed trees as the parent tree reaches senescence. To enter into conservation agreements, the BCT is available to assist with vegetation assessment and options for each situation.  Attendees will be kept up to date with the I-Spy koala app dvelopments and citizen science initiatives in the coming weeks and months.

Key facts

  • Better results from from a collaborative effort.
  • Citizen science is key for data gaps