A YouGov study of 1000+ metro and regional NSW residents has confirmed awareness of koalas living near our towns and cities is critically low. With less than a third of residents (31%) aware that koalas live in neighbouring bushland in close proximity to busy residential areas in the Sydney Basin - from Mudgee to Nelson Bay to Ulladulla.
The poll also revealed:
84% believe koala habitat should be more strongly protected from economic activities such as urban development, mining and logging.
91% support a koala green belt for the edge of Sydney which would involve protecting native forest and bushland for koala habitat, making it off-limits to development (i.e., for housing, logging, and mining).
62% believe property developer, logging and mining companies have too much say over land use in natural forests.
The study confirms despite overwhelming support for habitat protection, most people don’t know they live in a city that neighbours endangered koalas. And yet, koalas are living in the forests around Sydney and in the region stretching from Nelson Bay to Mudgee to Ulladulla are at risk from increasing urbanisation, mining and logging.
When asked about the proposed Sydney Koala Greenbelt, 91% of NSW residents support it. It’s obviously a massively popular plan.
Koalas are now officially designated as "endangered’’ under state and federal threatened species laws. The community knows this. The community wants action, not soft policies that do not address the main cause – loss of habitat.
The Sydney Basin Koala Network aims to increase awareness of this iconic species through increasing public awareness with a variety of tactics, putting koala protection and associated issues on the state and federal agenda including citizen science, supporting community groups and working with a wide variety of stakeholders.