Help us double the number of koalas across eastern Australia by 2050.

One of the world’s most iconic animals is facing a crisis.

Koalas along Australia’s east coast are at risk of extinction. Their populations have been in significant decline since 2001 – with up to 50% of their population lost in Queensland and 62% lost in New South Wales.

They are facing mounting threats, but one of the biggest threats to koalas is the destruction and fragmentation of their habitat.

WWF-Australia is determined to turn this tragedy around, and we need your help. With the right investments and decisions, our plan is not just to bring koalas back across eastern Australia but to give them the chance to thrive.

Our goal

To double the number of koalas across eastern Australia by 2050.
Koala eating eucalypt leaves
© Shutterstock / Janelle Lugge / WWF

About koalas

Koalas are most commonly found in the eucalyptus forests that stretch along Australia’s eastern coast, from Queensland’s sun-drenched shores to South Australia’s chilly mountain woodlands. They rely on these lush forests for both food and shelter and feed almost exclusively on eucalyptus leaves, eating up to 500 grams per day and using their keen sense of smell to pick out the freshest leaves.

Learn more about koalas

How we'll achieve this

Tanya Pritchard, Landscape Restoration Project Manager, WWF-Australia.
Koala Friendly Carbon, a first-of-its-kind carbon program to help restore koala habitat, is now available in the Northern Rivers Region of New South Wales.
The pilot program – which aims to boost koala numbers – is a partnership between the World Wide Fund for Nature-Australia, the NSW Government and Climate Friendly.
© Climate Friendly

Koala Friendly Carbon

The Koala Friendly Carbon Initiative is Australia’s most iconic carbon removal project, which was made in partnership with land managers, Climate Friendly, WWF-Australia and the NSW Government. It aims to restore 10,000 hectares of high-abundance koala habitat in the eastern parts of Australia over the next 10 years. 

The initiative will generate income for land managers, build climate resilience by utilising climate-ready restoration methods to help increase biodiversity and provide more homes for koalas.

Koala and Joey on log - home banner © Shutterstock / KAMONRAT / WWF

Fireproofing koalas

Human-induced climate change is increasing the frequency and intensity of fires across Australia, pushing koalas to the brink. Despite the koala being one of the most studied animals in Australia, there are key knowledge gaps in relation to koalas and fire.

This project aims to build the capacity of Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation (QYAC) Rangers to use drone and AI technology to improve the knowledge and management of koalas on Minjerribah (North Stradbroke Island) in southeast Queensland.

Through the combination of Traditional fire knowledge of the First Nations Peoples, modern science and cutting-edge technology, we aim to produce guidelines that can inform conservation efforts across the east coast of Australia to keep koalas safe.

An AirSeed Technologies drone that can plant up to 40 000 seeds a day
© WWF-Australia / Paul Fahy

Restoring koala habitat in the Northern Rivers

The Northern Rivers region is an important stronghold for koalas in New South Wales, but the fragmentation and destruction of their habitat is endangering koalas in the region.

This program of integrated projects aims to create wildlife corridors, restore critical koala habitats, and engage and train the community to reconnect koala habitats in over-cleared and degraded landscapes.

These projects are carried out in partnership with ten community organisations, including Traditional Owner groups and Indigenous rangers in the Northern Rivers. They include the use of innovative drone seeding technology, cultural fire burning practices, community workshops, planting and more.

Koala mother and her koala joey in a tree
Koala mother and her koala joey in a tree © Dominik Rueß - stock.adobe.com

Protecting critical koala habitat on private lands

At least 60% of Australia’s land is privately owned or managed, and many important ecosystems, including precious koala habitat, are found on private land. The conservation, protection and restoration of existing koala habitat on private land are critical to koalas' survival.

WWF-Australia, the NSW Department of Planning and Environment, the Biodiversity Conservation Trust and Envite Environment have partnered to invest funds and further incentivise permanent conservation agreements for private landholders to protect, restore and manage koala habitat on their land in the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales.

The project has already secured more than 500 hectares of land, protecting over 400,000 trees for koalas.

Kevin at Port Stephens Koalas Wildlife Hospital
© WWF-Aus / Madeleine Smitham

Tackling Chlamydia in koalas to bring them back from the brink of extinction

Chlamydia is one of the leading causes of death to the koala populations of southeast Queensland and northern New South Wales.

WWF-Australia is partnering with the Currumbin Wildlife Hospital to trial a new koala Chlamydia vaccine and aims to make the vaccine a preventative management method for curing the disease in koalas.

Learn more about the project here.

Regenerative Country

Regenerative Country is our program to protect and recover species and habitats. Our vision is to transform Australia from a deforestation to a reforestation nation. We will work with communities to protect and regenerate vital landscapes and species here and abroad. One of our key goals in this program is to protect culturally significant species, including doubling the number of koalas in the wild on Australia’s east coast by 2050.