Mapping Koala Health

Mapping koala health across the Noosa Biosphere Reserve to inform better management.

Project purpose

Koalas are now classified as vulnerable in Queensland, New South Wales and the ACT, with long term monitoring showing that certain populations are experiencing sharp declines. To ensure the protection of koalas for generations to come, it is imperative that we accurately and efficiently expand our evidence based knowledge about koala distribution, genetics and disease to population outside the urban footprint.

This research project will utilise innovative and non-invasive methodologies, such as conservation detection dogs, to produce the first field based fine-scale distribution and population health study of koalas across the Noosa Biosphere Reserve.

The project aims to identify where koala populations are; how connected they are; and how healthy they are. The project will identify areas of high potential for habitat rehabilitation, offsets, protection (eg refuges, reserves, voluntary conservation agreements) and land to buy for increase koala core habitat.

Proponent: University of the Sunshine Coast


  • Establishing one GIS (geographical information system) database - collating all koala information available
  • Investigate potential koala populations for the project using the koala scat detection dog.
  • Community presentations of the research project organised and delivered in collaboration with partner environmental groups.
  • Koala and scat surveys with detection dog on public (National Parks, Reserves etc) and private land. Analysis and report. Establishing a database of sites surveyed and presence of koala scats, maps of the same.
  • Identify threats, calculate anthropogenic pressures around our populations of interest in GIS.


This project is due for completion in March 2018.

Project value

  • Cash & in-kind contributions: $200,000
  • Funding from NBR Foundation: $59,500
  • Project value: $259,500


8 September, 2017 - Scatty koala survey findings giving hope for a future
5 September, 2017 -Survey to inform better management of Koala health in Noosa Biosphere Reserve
16 December, 2016 -Cooroy koalas need our help
22 November, 2016 -Research dog on koala scent
23 August, 2016 -Koalas Need Community Help
26 August, 2016 - Chance to help protect Noosa's surviving koalas
22 June, 2016 -Detection Dogs fetch grant for Noosa koala project

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