SBKN Focal Area Fact Sheets

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Any area in the Sydney Basin with koalas is critically important and their habitat must be protected.

In addition, Biolink have identified focal areas of known koala occupancy providing detailed reporting about the existence, conservation status and threats to koala populations to support community advocacy. These areas are Sutherland Shire, Liverpool, Campbelltown, Wollondilly, Southern Highlands, Hawkesbury, and Cessnock/Lake Macquarie LGAs. 

Increased protection in these areas will assist koala movement and potential population expansion. 

These fact sheets collate key information from our 2023 scientific and legal reports and 2024 progress report including mapping of koala colony generational persistence, key threats, and recommended legislative reform: 

The Campbelltown City Council and Wollondilly Shire LGAs are located in the Macarthur region of south-western Sydney. Because of the interconnectedness of the population and shared threats, the koala population inhabiting Campbelltown City Council and Wollondilly Shire LGAs are considered together as one Focal Area. This area is undergoing considerable urban expansion and development. Current plans will see Koalas here lose vital east west habitat corridors between the Georges and Nepean Rivers. 

Liverpool City Council LGA supports a koala population located primarily in the south-east of the LGA where it abuts Campbelltown City Council LGA. Since 2001, this population has seen a four-fold increase in its geographic extent across Liverpool City Council LGA, however this expansion is showing signs of slowing in recent years.

Sutherland Shire Council LGA supports a koala population with records from Barden Ridge to Loftus, Worona, Heathcote and Engadine and in the adjoining Heathcote and Royal National Parks. Recent data indicates this population is currently stable, but experiencing increasing pressure from roads and development, with little protection. 

Wingecarribee Shire Council LGA is situated in the Southern Highlands and supports koala GP concentrated in the north eastern part of the LGA where GP is interconnected with that in Wollondilly Shire. Concerninly, the area occupied by koalas has seen a decrease in recent years. 

Hawkesbury Shire LGA supports a small, scattered amount of mapped koala GP and a large amount of mapped koala habitat. The koala population appears stable, however they suffered extreme impacts during the 2019/2020 fire events, which we are yet to see the full effects of. Lack of protection of private land and habitat loss are a concern here. 

The adjoining LGAs of Cessnock City Council and Lake Macquarie City Council share contiguous habitat in Sugarloaf State Conservation Area which spans both LGAs. While Lake Macquarie is showing signs of stability and even expansion, Cessnock City has seen concerning and severe decline in recent years.

Port Stephens LGA is not considered a Focal Area despite the presence of known koala population hubs in Medowie, Tomago and Brandy Hill,  as only 25.14% of this LGA is in the Sydney Basin Bioregion.