The Koala Count was an innovative, large-scale citizen science survey developed and run by the National Parks Association of NSW (NPA) from 2013 to 2015. The aim of the annual count, run in November each year, was to build a comprehensive picture of koala numbers and locations across Australia by engaging members of the public to employ a GPS-enabled smartphone app to record sightings. Despite koalas being an iconic and internationally recognised symbol of Australia, populations of this special marsupial are declining rapidly in many states.
For the final year of the survey, we partnered with NatureMapr – an innovative public data collection software that brings together nature enthusiasts and conservation experts – to develop a new Koala Count app that made data collection more robust and helps you to record sightings more easily. The app enabled users to upload sightings directly to our database.
In addition to recording sightings, absence data was recorded as well - where people walked and didn't see any koalas - to help build a more complete picture of koala distributions and potential changes over time.
How did counting koalas help?
All of the data that was collected during the three surveys has been made available for anyone who needs it through the publically accessible Atlas of Living Australia. These records serve as a valuable resource for planning future conservation projects and for informing the development of new koala management strategies.
Project partners and supporters
The National Parks Association of NSW would like to acknowledge everyone who supported the Koala Count, as well as those who helped us to spread the word. In particular, we would like to thank the following organisations who contributed valuable time and resources to the project: WWF, NatureMapr and the Atlas of Living Australia.