Three major updates from the front line of koala conservation

updates tree planting koalas 2024

1. Multi-year project completed: 11,374 Trees

This crucial project meets all the requirements for koala revival: Koalas urgently need forests on land with fertile soils; these forests need to be adjacent to existing koala populations; and they need to be close to rivers and far from roads.

On this ideal site, on the Moorabool River in Lethbridge, Victoria, Koala Clancy Foundation and the International Fund for Animal Welfare have completed a huge planting over two years. Read more: Moorabool Manna Gums for Koalas.

New and existing river-side habitat on the Moorabool River, Lethbridge (Photo: Vanessa Raniolo, 2024)

In 2023, our community tree planters worked through rain and shine over two days to get the first 3600 trees planted. In 2024, we planned to plant another 2500 trees, but inspired by koala sightings, the passionate landowners and our design team managed to make more land available for koalas. After many hours of hard work behind the scenes by our team, Kingfisher Environmental Services and IFAW, followed by four community tree planting days in June 2024, we planted a grand total of 11,374 trees.

Thank you to our generous funding partner IFAW, the exclusive donor for this project.


2. Koalas sighted in new planting area

Koala Morrie, a mature male sighted at the Moorabool Manna Gums for Koalas project in late 2023 (Photo: Janine Duffy, 2023)

Sadly, much of the best koala country on the lower reaches of the Moorabool was cleared for farming many years ago and local koala populations have been in decline for decades. The owners at a Lethbridge farm hadn’t seen a koala on their property for decades.

The Moorabool Manna Gums for Koalas project aimed to halt the decline in this local population.

After planting the first 3600 trees in the Moorabool Manna Gums for Koalas project in 2023, we set up audio recorders for koalas, and conducted field surveys. By December 2023, we had four audio recordings of koala bellows on the property. We also made records of fresh koala scat and scratches on and around trees. Most exciting of all, we sighted four koalas on this property since we began planting: three koalas found by us, and another found by owners Ross and Liz.

Koala audio recording Moorabool Manna Gums for Koalas, 15 November 2023

The first sighting was of the regal male koala Morrie, pictured above, in a tree planted by the owners 15 years ago. Then in May 2024, on our first site preparation day, we found another male koala. Finally, on the chilly morning of our first planting day, our team and community members were thrilled to find a koala resting high in a River Red Gum tree beside the river.

We didn’t expect to find koalas on the property so soon after planting. These observations provide a baseline for further monitoring into the future – if koala numbers increase over the next few years, this will be a key indicator of success of revegetation for koalas. Alongside evidence from previous research, which is the basis of our tree planting approach, it suggests that sensitive planting for koalas could improve their chances more quickly than first thought.

This great news was widely covered in the media, with stories in the Geelong Advertiser, 7 News, ABC Ballarat, Galah, Australian Rural & Regional News, and IFAW:


3. Fundraising milestone achieved

We are thrilled to share that we’ve passed the halfway mark of our $50,000 fundraising target. This fundraiser has seen donations from across the globe – Sweden, USA, Germany, UK – and, of course, from those who share their home with koalas: Aussies.

This incredible achievement is a testament to our passionate community and proves one thing – the world isn’t giving up on koalas.

To everyone who has contributed to this fundraiser so far, thank you. You’re helping us achieve target of 30,000 koala trees in 2024, but more importantly, you’re making a future with koalas in it possible.


This is the good news that keeps us getting stronger, and koalas will benefit more and more ever year. Each year we’ve planted more trees than the last. We’ve removed over 4.3 million boneseed weeds from existing koala habitats. We continue contributing to ground-breaking scientific research about koalas.

To get involved, sign up as a member, join one of our events, or donate today.

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