President of the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital and chairperson of Koala Conservation Australia Sue Ashton said a new koala reserve on the Mid North Coast is a "step in the right direction".
Around 200 hectares of land adjoining the Killabakh Nature Reserve north of Taree has been acquired by the NSW national parks estate for one of three new reserves across the state.
More than 2000 hectares has been acquired in the three locations - in Monaro, near Yamba, and north of Taree.
Koalas are among more than 20 threatened species to benefit from these additions to the NSW national parks estate.
"I do think that it's a start. These reserves are joining other National Parks and are targeting important areas for koala conservation," Mrs Ashton said.
"Koalas need a big area and a lot of trees. These reserves can't be small plots of land and that's why joining them with National Parks will allow for a larger conservation area."
Minister for Environment James Griffin said since 2016, the NSW Government has secured 600,000 hectares for addition to the national park estate to protect threatened habitats, wildlife and heritage perpetuity.
"Securing koala habitat in national parks is part of our strategy to double the koala population by 2050. As well as koalas, these national park additions will protect an incredible diversity of threatened species," he said.
"These three acquisitions are part of a program targeting some of the most important areas in NSW for koala conservation."
In the state's south near Cooma, the NSW Government, through the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS), has purchased 1052 hectares adjoining Macanally State Conservation Area.
Featuring long unburnt woodlands, it forms part of a corridor linking the tablelands with the coastal forests and is a critical step in securing the regional koala population.
In the state's north, NPWS has purchased 752 hectares adjoining Bundjalung National Park near Yamba.
"This is a big win for koalas, and also for the host of threatened species that share these forests, such as brush-tailed phascogales, yellow-bellied gliders and powerful owls," Griffin said.
"The third property is 200 hectares adjoining Killabakh Nature Reserve, in the ranges north of Taree. This property contains 130 hectares of wet sclerophyll forest containing tallowwood, flooded gum and Sydney blue gum, all important food trees for koalas."
To learn more about koala conservation, visit environment.nsw.gov.au/koala
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