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Koalas are difficult to monitor, so our knowledge of their populations is patchy

We know that koalas live along most of the eastern coast, parts of the southern coast, and in areas of inland Australia.

Koalas are easy to identify. But our ability to see (or 'detect') individual koalas is extremely low and varies in different habitats, and even between different people using different monitoring methods. High up in a gum trees, they can easily go unnoticed from the ground.

That means our knowledge (including technical, citizen and First Nation knowledge) about koala populations is also patchy. This makes it difficult to estimate the current and changing status of koala populations in different regions, and across Australia.

There are community and state run monitoring programs helping to address this challenge. But these programs only capture a portion of the koala's range, which means we don't have all the information needed to develop a nationally consistent picture of the protected species.

Empowering communities to participate in the National Koala Monitoring Program

The Australian Government has funded the development of a coordinated National Koala Monitoring Program (NKMP).

CSIRO is leading the co-design and facilitating the roll out of NKMP with the broader koala conservation community. The key objective of the monitoring program is to connect with, and build upon existing koala monitoring efforts and implement a long-lasting program.

The program will assess and respond to changes in koala population size, health and condition across their distribution. Over time, these data will be used to support local, regional and national koala management and habitat conservation efforts.

Collaboration is key to success of the National Koala Monitoring Program.

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