three people looking up to a tree to identify a koala

Knowing how to spot koalas and how to identify if they are sick or injured can help save their life.

Koalas face several threats, including habitat loss, diseases like chlamydia, and fatalities from vehicle collisions and dog attacks. We can help by reporting sightings of sick and healthy koalas.

Why is reporting your koala sightings important?

Population monitoring

When individuals share their koala sightings, it provides valuable data about koala habitats. This information is gathered in databases and the resulting reports play a crucial role in safeguarding koala habitats. This helps in planning conservation efforts at local, state, and national levels, while also guiding policymakers about koala locations. Additionally, this data illustrates the movement patterns of koalas.

Koala health

When more people are familiar with the indicators of unwell koalas, it enables swift action from koala carers. Timely reporting of a sick or injured koala enhances their chances of survival. Reporting sick and injured koalas helps:

  • Identify the overall health of koala populations in different regions.
  • Pinpoint key hotspots with higher incidents of koala injuries.
  • Assist local, state, and federal governments in comprehending the diverse threats that koalas face.

Community involvement

Reporting koala sightings helps everyone in the community know where the koalas are. This way, people can join in, advocate for, and take care of koalas too. Plus, spotting koalas offers a wonderful chance to enjoy quality family time outdoors and have fun. So, if you happen to come across a koala, don’t hesitate to report it! Your every sighting makes a difference.

Signs that a koala might be in the area

Koalas can be difficult to see when they are hiding way up in their trees. However, there are a few signs you can keep an eye out for that can help you find them.

Credit: Koala Action Gympie Region Inc

Look for scratch marks on trees. Koalas have sharp claws, which they use to help them climb. Beware though, as these could also be from goannas or possums!

Look for koala scats (their poo) around the base of trees. They are bullet-shaped and smell like eucalyptus if they are fresh.

Credit: Queensland Koala Crusaders
Credit: Marc Anderson

Listen for the bellow of male koalas during the breeding season. To hear what a male koala sounds like, click here to listen to a- Koala mating call at Taronga Zoo.

You can also use the QWildlife app to find out the places people are reporting koalas in your community!

Ways to report a koala sighting

Download the QWildlife app and report your koala sightings.
Download the iNaturalist app or report via their website.

Through your local council

In the unfortunate event you find a koala sick, injured or deceased, immediately call 1300 ANIMAL (264 625) or your nearest wildlife rescue.

QWildlife: An amazing tool

QWildlife is a free user-friendly app that makes it easy for you to report koala sightings (and crocodiles!) in Queensland. The app is available for iOS and Android and you don’t need to register to start using it.

Visit the App Store or Google Play and search QWildlife

Button that says "Get it on Google Play"

One exciting feature of the QWildlife app is that you are able to view the koala sightings reported through the app. If you want to check it out and see where people have spotted koalas, you can find it on the Department of Environment and Science website or through the app if it is downloaded on your phone.

Watch this quick tutorial on how to use the QWildlife app

Learn how to become a Koalafied Detective webinar

Gain insider tips on successful koala spotting from local enthusiasts. Learn from Dr Harriet Preece, Senior Program Officer with the Koala Research and Monitoring team at the Department of Environment and Science. Additionally, Jamie Blouse, Operations Manager at RSPCA QLD Wildlife Hospital, with over 20 years of experience working with native wildlife, will train you to identify signs of illness in koalas.

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