Breaking records to help save koalas from extinction

record breaking tree planting kidney trays koala trees

Koala Clancy Foundation’s 2023 tree planting season was our biggest season to date – almost every record that we’ve ever set has been broken in the last three months.

Koala Clancy Foundation are on a mission – we’re planting 300,000 trees by 2030 to save koalas from extinction. Since we began planting in 2016, every tree planting season has been bigger than the last and we have consistently set new records.

In 2023 we broke these koala tree planting records:

  • 33,518 koala trees total in one season. New record for KCF
  • 10,663 koala trees on one site in one season. New record for KCF
  • 1,931 Koala trees in one day. New record for KCF
  • 3,618 Koala trees in one weekend. New record for KCF
  • 5,891 koala trees in 7 days. Biggest week ever, new record for KCF

2023: A huge year to remember

Koala Clancy member, Jenny, planting the 30,000th tree of 2023

30,000 trees: that was our 2023 tree planting season target. We had never done it before.  So in May our small team were gearing up for three months of hard work – we knew we needed to achieve an average of 10,000 trees per month.

We hit the ground running on the first weekend of winter with a full weekend of tree planting, supported by IFAW.  By Sunday afternoon we’d already broken our first record: across two days, 65 volunteers planted 3618 koala trees – the most trees we’d ever planted in such a short window.

This weekend gave us confidence that we could achieve 30,000 trees in three months, not just because of the numbers, but because of the dedication of our reliable, returning community members.

30000th tree planted for 2023
The 30,000th tree of 2023: a River Red Gum, A.K.A. the koala super tree!

Our members made it clear that our enormous goal was backed by a phenomenal community who are passionate about our cause.

Things gained momentum after this weekend, and we moved on to break the next record: Plains Grassy Woodland is our biggest single project to date. We planted 5469 in 2022 and almost doubled that this year. Across 13 public tree planting events in June and July 2023 we successfully planted 10,663 trees.  That’s the highest number of trees planted in any single season Koala Clancy project.

This project is also our largest multi-year project, breaking records set at Gheringhap and Balliang.  

Overlooking part of the 2022 and 2023 planting at Moorabool Tributary at Gheringhap project (above).

We love ongoing projects – we can plan ahead, get to know a site and landowners really well, we achieve economies of scale, and learn what works best for that location. Here are some of our biggest multi-year projects: 

tree planting site Victoria before
BEFORE: Plains Grassy Woodland community tree planting event, 2023
tree planting site Victoria after
AFTER: Plains Grassy Woodland community tree planting event, 2023

Corporate Volunteering Success

Throughout July and August, 152 corporate volunteers joined us from six companies and collectively planted 8,219 trees across two large projects.

Community Volunteering

428 of the most hard-working and joyful community volunteers joined us to plant 21,864 trees across nine projects.

The biggest week in Koala Clancy tree planting history was toward the end of August 2023 when our staff and community volunteers planted 5,891 trees in six days!

tree planting hands
Community volunteers planting a cluster of koala plants

These numbers will go down in Koala Clancy history and have set the new standard for what we can achieve. Most importantly, they amount to the BIGGEST Koala Clancy tree planting season ever. Remember the 30,000 tree target that we set at the start of the season? We didn’t just reach the target, we SURPASSED it by thousands of trees!

The total number of koala trees planted by Koala Clancy in 2023 is:


Our grand total of trees planted all time is:


tree planter pointing out trees planted for koalas
Koala Clancy team member, Eliza, overlooking the Moorabool Tributary at Gheringhap project

What does this mean for our koalas?

The true significance of our tree planting projects is immeasurable.  The impact of saving a flagship and umbrella species from extinction cannot be quantified. In saying that, we’re lucky to be able to contextualise our impact in numbers.

Our research indicates that You Yangs koalas need 7,500 to 26,000 trees each. In wet, fertile habitat (such as the rivers we plant in), we believe they will need an average of 3,000 trees each.

There are approximately 100 wild koalas left in the You Yangs.

100 koalas x 3000 trees each = 300,000 koala trees

300,000 is the minimum number of trees that we need to plant to give our koalas the habitat that they need to survive in the face of climate change.

Having planted 129,422 trees so far, we’re now over a third of the way to our grand target. We have 7 planting seasons left to reach 300,000 trees by 2030. Now we know for a FACT that we have the capacity to achieve this.

We couldn’t have done it without you

community volunteers planting trees to save koalas from extinction
Koala Clancy members joined an exclusive, member-only tree planting event to pass the 30,000 tree target

Breaking all these records to save our koalas from extinction would not have been possible without the commitment of our supporters, donors, partners, and community members. 

The team at Koala Clancy is small. This year we had two staff working behind the scenes, and five tree planting staff. We’re a hard working bunch, but there’s no way we could break all these tree planting records without our board, our members and our volunteers.

To those who donated, joined our events, and helped spread our message – thank you.

Because of you, Koala Clancy Foundation have what it takes to save koalas from extinction.

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