A playback survey of the koala, Phascolarctos cinereus, and a review of its distribution in the Eden Region of south-eastern New South Wales
Vic Jurskis , Alan Douch , Ken McCray & Jim Shields
A survey conducted by playing pre-recorded calls of a male koala and listening for responses was used to further assess the distribution of koalas in south-eastern New South Wales.
Fourteen koalas were recorded from 388 sample sites. This detection rate (4%) was low compared to detection rates in north-eastern New South Wales. Insufficient data were generated to allow analysis of koala distribution in relation to environmental variables. The koalas were scattered through the region on various land tenures. The results suggest that conclusions regarding the distribution of koalas, based on previous records, may reflect uneven survey effort. The data from this survey and from other contemporary sources show the continued presence of koalas at localities where they had previously been reported as extinct. It is concluded that a low density koala population persists in the regional forests and that purported evidence of decline in the population is unconvincing.
There were no significant differences in detection rates between different land tenures. The detection rate of koalas was highest in the north of the region, at lower altitudes. There were significant differences in detection rates between modelled vegetation types, but the small number of detections precluded analysis of habitat preferences.