At high population densities, koalas can defoliate preferred tree species, causing tree death and subsequent koala population crash and making the species difficult to manage.
Public concern for the koala is high and there are management problems with many populations. Remnant populations living at high densities in isolated patches of habitat are at greatest risk. Effective management of some of the koala’s threats on the mainland could lead to excessive abundance and result in pest problems similar to those occurring on Kangaroo Island and in parts of Victoria.
At high population densities, koalas can defoliate preferred tree species, causing tree death and subsequent koala population crash. As such, management of the koala can be difficult.
Populations that are protected can reach such high numbers in an area that they destroy the trees on which they feed. Often portions of populations have to be relocated in order to reduce the number of individuals in a given area. However, this is complicated by the shortage of suitable forest areas where surplus animals can be released.
• Image | ©️ Nathan Rupert, Some Rights Reserved, (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
• Sources | (Dubuc & Eckroad, 1999; MacDonald, 1995; Martin, Handasyde, & Krockenberger, 2008; Menkhorst, 2004, 2008; Woinarski & Burbidge, 2020)