Koalas of South West Sydney

In 1989 Professor R. Close started out to find if Koalas do exist in the Campbelltown region. What he found was a Chlamydia free expanding Colony, with koalas living over 17 years.

Shirley and Lyn

Shirley was tracked for over 11 years in which time she had nine joeys and was  part of a four generation study lasting 21 years.

Professor R. Close report

This report is based on the data collected during a community-assisted research program that ran in the period 1989 to 2016 and  was focussed on a population of koalas that lives in the Campbelltown area some 70km south-west of Sydney’s CBD. Additional data came and is still coming from animals that were ear-tagged prior to 2016 and  whose lives extended beyond that year.

The Campbelltown koala population is particularly important because it is the only one listed in NSW by McAlpine et al (2017) as expanding. Although koala populations immediately to the south of Campbelltown (Wilton, Mittagong, Colo Vale, Upper Nepean catchments, Robertson), now also appear to be thriving, some are affected with chlamydia, an affliction so far spared the Campbelltown animals.

Relatively few ecological studies last for more than a few years because of financial limitations. After 27 years of study the amount of data collected is large and this presents problems for dissemination. Although some aspects of the data are published (see reference list on p. 38 of this report Campbelltown Koala Research and Database (CKRD) there is a need for the public to be able to use the data for general interest, for  research, for conservation issues and for housing development planning. It is gratifying to know that  the public that played such an important role in  locating  and the study animals can now receive a just reward for their help.

An example of the result that the public can obtain from the study can be seen in Figure 12 of the CKRD. Here the movements of one koala (Amanda) are superimposed on a Google Earth map. A brief introduction to the  use of the Google data can be found on page 34 of the CKRD.

We encourage users to download and leave their name and email so that they can be informed when updates appear, and to encourage others to email a link to the site rather than the downloads. You can leave your name and email on the CONTACT button at the top of the page. These downloads may also be viewed at Campbelltown Library.

Section A (1-6)

Campbelltown Koala Research and Database

This set of downloads is the main document. It comprises Prof. Robert Close’s report (1) whereas (2-3 and 4) are the Excel sheets where all the data collected can be found. More information on how to use it can be found on page 35 sections 8 of the report (1).   File (6), this download is explained on page 34 sections 7 of the report (1) you will need Google Earth to use it. After installing the user will be able to see where the koalas were located , sex distribution, their movements just to name some of the information that can be found.


When you install file 6 Google earth it may come to a page that says WHOOPS. Ignore this it means you haven’t got a viewer for KZL files. Hit the download button, after this refer to page 34 of the report Procedure for using the database or watch the video below on how to install and use Google earth (MY PLACES)

(6) https://drive.google.com/file/d/16UkW5fTkMnqvoJiOtDO8Jd8l4gH4TmMr/view?usp=sharing

Section B (7-20)

Relevant Papers

This next set of downloads are papers relevant to the koalas of the Campbelltown region

Section C (21-26)


This next set of downloads are unpublished Reports

Section D (27-30)

Mac Koala Club

Over 18 years Prof. R. Close and Dr. S. Ward produced a weekly column in the Macarthur Advertiser (Mac Koala Club), which kept the public up to date with the latest koala movements     

Section E (31)

National Geographic

The National Geographic came to Campbelltown in 1995 and produced a comprehensive article on the state of the koala in Australia including Prof.R. Close’s work on local koalas.

Section F (32-36)

Press Releases

Over a long period of time press releases were made.

Section G (37-38)

Newspaper Clippings

Newspaper Clippings collected over time 1988-2018

Section H


The first film is one that Prof.R. Close made. It shows what their work entailed

(2) is about Franchesca and joey(Pam) and how they catch and change batteries

Film (3) Prof. R. Close in a lecture hosted by NPA Macarthur  talking about Mammals of the Macarthur region

Film (4) Prof. R. Close in a lecture hosted by NPA Macarthur  talking about  koalas

Section I

Papers & Guidelines that were not used in Prof Close’s  report

A study was undertaken by  Edward Narayan and Tayla Vanderneut on Koalas and stress and Chlamydia

Campbelltown City Council Koala Plan of Management

NSW Government NSW Koala Strategy

Department of the Environment  EPBC Act referral guidelines for the vulnerable Koala

NSW Government Koala scat surveys were undertaken on partially cleared blocks of land east of Appin Road in the Campbelltown LGA

NSW Government   The report weighs up the likely impacts on the local koala population if a fence was built on the east side of Appin Road

NSW Government   The NSW Koala Research Plan is a 10-year plan. It is a dynamic document that will be reviewed, evaluated and updated at regular intervals throughout its life.

Dr. Steven Phillips Connecting habitat between Georges & Nepean Rivers

Report Card Summary

State if the Forest in Victoria 2018 Intersting

Targeted field testing of wildlife road-crossing strures: Koalas and canopy rope-bridges.

Appin Road upgrade Mount Gilad NSW Biodiversity Assessment by Dr Stephen Phillips 25-10-19

Koala populations and habitat in New Sourh Wales

Koala Crossings report to State Goverment

Chief Scientist Report on protecction of the Campbelltown Koala population

Out on a limb Hobitat use of specialist folivore, the koala at the edge of its range in a modified semi-arid landscape

Overview, Critaical Assessment,and Conservations of Koala Distribution and Abundance . By Professor Frank N Carric AM