Since 2012, the Koala Phascolarctos cinereus has been listed as a vulnerable species under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBC Act). The ACT is located on the border of the Koala’s natural range, therefore the ACT Government has responsibilities under the EPBC Act to manage and protect the Territory’s Koala population, should this exist. To provide further information about potential Koala occurrence and distribution in the ACT, in 2017-18 Capital Ecology partnered with the Conservation Research team of the ACT Government Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate (EPSDD) to survey for Koalas in Namadgi National Park and other potential habitat sites in the ACT.
Koala occurrence in a patch of potential habitat can be identified by the presence of scats and/or the distinct scratches they leave on smooth-barked trees. Capital Ecology undertook targeted field surveys at 42 sites throughout the ACT and classified each site based on its suitability as potential Koala habitat.
Unfortunately, no indication of Koala occurrence was found at any of the sites we surveyed in the ACT. Nevertheless, the nil findings of the project are of value to the conservation of the Koala as they provide important data for the NSW Government’s modelling of the likely western extent of the species’ distribution in the ACT-Monaro region.