Koala prescription mapping

As part of our advice on finalising the PNF codes, we worked with scientists at the Department of Planning and Environment and the Department of Primary Industries’ Forest Science Unit to develop an interim PNF koala prescription map for each region. Where the maps show high koala habitat suitability, PNF operations are required to retain koala feed trees amongst other rules. Our advice recommended the maps be adopted as interim and, following release of the codes, the interim maps and underlying models be verified and improved.

The NSW Forest Monitoring Steering Committee, independently chaired by the Commission, is now overseeing the validation and improvement of the maps. This involves independently reviewing the PNF koala prescription maps and the modelling that underpins them.

We have appointed independent experts to inform this work:

  • Professor (Honorary) Jane Elith - University of Melbourne
  • Dr Natalie Briscoe - University of Melbourne - Research Fellow, Distribution Models, School of Ecosystem and Forest Sciences
  • Dr Alistair Melzer – Central Queensland University – Adjunct Research Fellow

We are working closely with the experts, along with scientists and modellers from the Department of Planning and Environment to undertake this work. The experts provide advice on koala habitat, habitat modelling and evaluation of models and maps. A cross-agency technical review team also inputs to the process, and other independent experts are consulted as required on matters relating to koala feed trees and distribution.

Changes to the maps require the joint approval of the Minister for Agriculture and the Minister for Environment.

To guide this work, the Forest Monitoring Steering Committee endorsed guidance for identifying high value koala habitat for private native forestry purposes.

Local Land Services is developing a survey protocol that will be used in cases where a landholder requests a review of the PNF koala prescription map on their property.