Looking after koalas in the Kempsey Shire

Published on 01 May 2024


Koalas were once common in the Kempsey region, with stories of the koala deeply woven into local Dunghutti/ Thunggutti Songlines and Dreaming stories. The place name Yarrahapinni comes from ‘yarri’, the Dunghutti/ Thunggutti word for ‘koala’.

In 2022, koalas were officially listed as an endangered species. Koalas in our region face a range of threats, including habitat loss, fragmentation and degradation, disease, declining genetic diversity, vehicle strike, bushfire, and dog attack.

A large proportion of the Hastings-Macleay region has been mapped as populations ‘for immediate investment’ under the NSW Government’s NSW Koala Strategy.

Importantly, the NSW Koala Strategy has identified the Crescent Head koala population as one of ten stronghold koala populations in the State. Stronghold populations are significant as some support very large populations of koalas, while others represent areas that are likely to be important refuge areas for climate change.

Habitat connectivity is key to ensuring koalas maintain genetic diversity and health of local koala populations.

Koalas feed almost exclusively on eucalyptus leaves. In our region koala preferred feed trees include Eucalyptus microcorys (Tallowwood), Eucalyptus propinqua (Grey Gum), Eucalyptus robusta (Swamp Mahogany) and Eucalyptus tereticornis (Forest Red Gum)

To support the creation and maintenance of koala habitat, Council will be holding a Koala Feed Tree Giveaway with free koala feed trees available to collect on 28 May 2024 from the Macleay Landcare office, located on Wharf Street, East Kempsey, between 12pm - 4:30pm.

Orders for trees can be placed here between 6 May and 24 May: ksc.pub/koala-tree2024

To secure koalas in the region, various agencies have worked together to secure, restore and create hundreds of hectares of koala habitat. However, there is still so much to do.

If you’re a local landholder who would like to undertake habitat restoration on your property, please contact the koala hospital

Report your local koala sightings - If you see a koala, let us know via logging your sighting here 


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