This 2024 report is an updated assessment using the last two full years of data (2021-2023) to determine the current status of koalas in the Sydney Basin by Biolink (pg. 24), and includes an updated assessment on legislative reform by EDO (pg. 8). The findings are alarming. The area where koalas are found in the Sydney Basin is declining and the areas supporting long standing breeding populations of koalas are also in decline.

2023 SBKN Scientific & Legal reports

Ecological consultants, BioLink, and legal consultants, Environmental Defenders Office (EDO), have prepared landmark reports for the Sydney Basin Koala Network, identifying key areas for protection and the critical need for law reform.  

BIOLINK Report: Sydney Basin Koala Assessment February 2023

This report provides:

  1. A consolidated vegetation map for the Sydney Basin bioregion, coded according to koala habitat classifications
  2. Historic records analysis using koala records from the NSW fauna database (BioNet) to determine three important population parameters; Extent of Occurrence (EoO), Area of Occupancy (AoO) and Generational Persistence
  3. Proposed Focal Areas for fine scale analyses with community groups
  4. A connectivity analysis of the Greater Macarthur Growth Area

EDO Report: Protecting koalas in the Sydney Basin Bioregion February 2023

This report analyses the following planning and environment laws and strategies, proposing a set of recommendations for legislative reform:

  1. NSW Koala Strategy
  2. Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 including: the Biodiversity offsets Scheme (BOS), Serious and Irreversible Impacts safeguard, Threatened species listing processes, Areas of Outstanding Biodiversity Value and Biodiversity Conservation Program
  3. Development including: Exempt Development, Local and regionally significant development, Koala SEPPs, Biodiversity Certification and Strategic land use planning
  4. Infrastructure
  5. Clearing of vegetation on rural land and non-rural areas
  6. Forestry on Private and Public Land
  7. Bushfire Hazard and Disaster Management Legislation
  8. Protected areas
  9. Commonwealth EPBC Act

Total Environment Centre 2023 Sydney Basin Koala Policy

Our umbrella organisation, Total Environment Centre has released a 5-point Sydney Basin Koala policy, outlining the steps needed to halt their trajectory from endangered to extinct, after a decline of 20% over the past 20 years. 

Read the TEC Sydney Basin Koala Policy here:

Associated Research:

Analysis conducted by Biolink and released by IFAW in 2020 found the New South Wales koala population suffered a decline of between 33% and 61% since 2001, with a conservative estimate of 6382 koalas killed in the 2019-20 bushfire season. A 22% decline was estimated in the Sydney Basin bioregion.

Environmental Defenders Office (EDO)
Analysis and briefing note - The truth about the NSW Koala SEPP (2020)

NSW Koala Research:

NSW Chief Scientist
Advice on the protection of the Campbelltown Koala population, including key recommendations for corridor widths of 390m with 30m buffers.