Healthy Environment, Healthy Community, Healthy Business

Environment Protection Authority

Environmental Issues

Native forestry

Baseline map of koala occurrence in NSW

The baseline map of koala occurrence identifies the likelihood of koala occurrence within set 5-kilometre grids across north east NSW and 10-kilometre grids across the remainder of NSW. Each grid cell is populated with data reflecting the proportion of koalas relative to other common mammals of similar observability, and a measure of statistical confidence associated with data in the cell. The map is intended to be updated periodically to reflect new records entered in the Atlas of NSW Wildlife.

View the map

The baseline map can be viewed online. For instructions on how to use the map viewer, see the Native Forestry Map Viewer Guide.

To download the spatial datasets, please visit our open data portal and search using the keyword `Koala'.

Development of the baseline map

The EPA engaged the Office of Environment and Heritage to develop a broad-scale baseline map of koala occurrence in NSW, using current available data from the Atlas of NSW Wildlife.

A report on the preliminary map of the likelihood of koala occurrence in NSW (PDF 3.9MB) was released in February 2015. It outlined the development and the use of the baseline map. A supplementary comparison (PDF 4.8MB) found broad agreement between the baseline map and other koala mapping available for the NSW north coast.

A review of the preliminary baseline map (PDF 2.4MB) by koala experts recommended a number of modifications to the baseline map. In particular modifications were made to the underlying data, including the filtering of data for duplication and revising the data cut-off date to ensure regionally significant survey events were captured in the baseline. Validation of the revised baseline map showed that there was a strong positive relationship between the baseline map and koala activity levels, as indicated by independent survey data.

The EPA engaged an independent koala expert to update the baseline map. This included using new Atlas of NSW Wildlife data and an extensive set of additional koala survey data for north eastern NSW. The statistical confidence and likelihood levels of the baseline map were then used to direct additional survey effort to data deficient areas. This additional survey work (PDF 1.7MB) addressed the more significant gaps in data and improved the confidence level of the baseline cells. In some areas, this identified koala occupancy in areas where they were not previously known, while in other areas, it established confidence that koalas are not likely to occur.

Map of likelihood of koalas

Figure 1: Likelihood of koalas (p)

Map of confidence level in the estimated likelihood

Figure 2: Confidence level in the estimated likelihood

Page last updated: 03 May 2017