Koalas and State forest harvesting

Timber harvesting from the state’s regrowth native forests has been ongoing for the past 100 years. Throughout this time, koala populations and the timber industry have co-existed and we know from recent research that they continue to do so today.

There are large areas of koala habitat in National Parks, State Forests and private lands. Koalas have been recorded living in and around areas of state forest where harvesting has occurred both recently and historically.

The areas of State forest that are available for harvesting make up just four per cent of the 23 million hectares of forested land in NSW. These forests are critical for providing renewable regrowth timber for our local industry while also supporting significant koala populations. This is a result of many years of well managed, sustainable forestry practices.

Timber harvesting in NSW is carefully managed to ensure State forests continue to produce a sustainable supply of timber while supporting thriving populations of native species.

Notably, in every forest that is harvested, on average around 40 per cent of the harvest area is set aside for conservation. Further trees are retained right across the areas harvested to provide seed and to provide ongoing habitat for threatened species as well as timber for future generations.

With this sensible, long term land management practices in our forests there is no reason to believe that koalas will not continue to occupy our forests into the future.

Latest koala research

A three-year research program has shown that the environmental laws governing State forestry are serving koalas well, with past timber harvesting having no impact on koala occupancy in the north-east NSW. Find out more in the videos below or read more on the NSW Department of Primary Industries website.

Growing koala habitat

Koalas like trees and spend most of their life moving from tree to tree in a very large area called their home range. They eat about half a kilo of leaves a day and research shows koalas like eating young healthy trees, making young stands of trees an important food source.

Forestry Corporation manages about two million hectares of native State forests in NSW for conservation, tourism and sustainable timber production. While koala habitat can be found in State forests, national parks and other public land, habitat on private property is also important.

Planting trees and encouraging the natural regeneration of trees can improve the habitat for Koalas, particularly in areas where habitat has been fragmented through agriculture and development.

As well as protecting koala habitat in State forests and regrowing 40 million trees in State forests each year, we grow koala preferred species of seedlings in our nursery and give them away to be planted on private property in a bid to grow more koala habitat in NSW.

Find out more about our community seedling project.

For information on where to plant seedlings in the landscape and how to plant them correctly, see the fact sheets below: