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The habitat and conservation requirements of the koala were investigated in 1996 in a 6400 hectare timber production forest at Pine Creek in the Coffs Harbour region of north-east NSW. Minimum koala density varied from 50 hectares per koala in plantation forest to 9 hectares per koala in high site quality native forest and averaged 15 hectares per koala throughout. The total koala population was estimated by spotlight counts to be 350 to 450 individuals. Variation in scat density (determined by counts in fixed area plots) was best explained by food tree species richness, forest association, forest structure and logging history. Koalas preferred structurally complex, uneven-aged forests with some mature and oldgrowth elements, a large basal area, and mixed species associations dominated by tallowwood, grey gum and forest oak. Koalas were least abundant in plantations and structurally uniform, blackbutt dominated regrowth native forests with a low tree species diversity. Trees of 40-80 cm dbh and stands with more than three koala food tree species per survey plot (50 by 50 m) were preferred. Historical timber harvesting practices involving low intensity harvesting of large diameter stems were successful in maintaining koala populations. Modern, high intensity harvesting practices including extensive gap clearfelling and Australian group selection that remove a high proportion of stand basal area and leave only small diameter stems (<50 cm dbh) are incompatible with koala conservation. Failure of SFNSW to embrace alternatives to high intensity harvesting practice has resulted in the transfer of most koala habitat in Pine Creek State Forest to Bongil Bongil National Park.

Andrews, S. P., Gration, G. Quin, D. and Smith A. P. 1994 Description and assessment of forestry impacts on fauna of the Urbenville Forestry Management Area. Report to State Forests of NSW. Austeco Pty. Ltd. 150 pp.
Attiwill, P. Burgman, M. and Smith A. P. 1996 Gaps and clusters silviculture: how well does it balance wood production and biodiversity conservation. A report by the review panel to the Ministerial Committee established to review the principles and application of the gaps and clusters technique. Minister for Land and Water Conservation. Sydney.
Austeco 1993 Bellinger River water supply scheme, Environmental Impact Statement, Flora and Fauna Studies. Mitchell McCotter and Associates, Sydney.
Baur G.N. 1965 Forest types in New South Wales. Forestry Commission of NSW Research Note No. 17, FCNSW, Sydney.
Degabriele, R. 1981. A relative shortage of nitrogenous food in the ecology of the koala ( Phascolarctos cinereus). Australian Journal of Ecology 6:139-141.
Dunning A. and Smith A. P. 1986 Integration of arboreal mammal and reptile conservation with timber production in moist hardwood forests of New South Wales. Department of Ecosystem Management, University of New England, Armidale.
Ferrier S. and Smith A. P. 1990. Using geographic information systems for biological survey design, analysis and extrapolation. Australian Biologist 3:105-116.
Fleay, D. 1937. Observation on the koala in captivity. Successful rearing in the Melbourne Zoo. Australian Zoologist 9: 68-80
Florence, R. 1996 Ecology and silviculture of eucalypt forests. CSIRO Canberra.
Hindell, M.A. and Lee, A.K., 1987. Habitat use and tree preferences of koalas in a mixed eucalypt forest. Australian Wildlife Research. 14: 349-360.
Kavanagh, R.P, Debus, S., Tweedie, T. and Webster, R., 1995. Distribution of nocturnal forest birds and mammals in Northeastern New South Wales: relationships with environmental variables and management history. Wildlife Research 22: 359-377.
Landsberg, J., 1990. Dieback or rural eucalypts: response of foliar dietary quality and herbivory to defoliation. Australian Journal of Ecology. 15: 89-96.
Lee, A, and Martin, R., 1988 The koala. A Natural History. New South Wales University Press, Sydney.
Lunney, D., Moon, C., and Matthews A., 1996. A 1990 survey of the koala Phascolarctos cinereus population at Iluka in northern New South Wales. Pp12-122 in Koalas, Research for Management, edited by Gordon, G., World Koala Research Inc, Brisbane, Queensland.
Lunney, D., Esson, C., Moon, C., Ellis, M., and Matthews A., 1997. A community based survey of the koala, Phascolarctos cinereus, in the Eden Region of Southeastern New South Wales. Wildlife Research 24:111-128.
Lunney, D. Matthews, A., Moon, C., and Ferrier S., 2000. Incorporating habitat mapping into practical koala conservation on private lands. Conservation Biology, 14, 3: 669-680.
Melzer, A. and Houston, W., 1997. Distribution and ecology of the koala. Report to State Forests of NSW, SFNSW Coffs Harbour.
Mitchell P. J., Bilney, R. and Martin, R.W., 1988. Population structure and reproductive status of koalas on Raymond Island, Victoria. Australian Wildlife Research 15, 511-14
Mitchell P. J and Martin, R.W., 1990. The structure and dynamics of koala populations-French Island in perspective. Pp 97-108 in Biology of the Koala, edited by Lee, A.K., Handasyde K. A. and Sanson G. D. Surrey Beatty and Sons, Chipping Norton, NSW.
Moon C. 1995. Investigation of logging and koala habitat, Pine Creek State forest, Urunga Forestry District. Report to the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, Hurstville, 25 October 1995.
Moore B. D., and Foley W. 2000. A review of feeding and diet selection in koalas ( Phascolarctos cinereus) Australian Journal of Zoology 48, 317-333.
RL Newman and Partners, 1996 A brief history of forestry management at Pine Creek for the Forestry Commission of NSW. Report No. 1112 to SFNSW Coffs Harbour Region, RL Newman & Partners, Canberra.
NSW NPWS, 1994 Fauna of north-east NSW forests. North East Forest Biodiversity Study Report No. 3, unpublished report, NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service.
Pahl, L. and Hume, I. 1991. Preferences for Eucalyptus species of the new England Tablelands initial development of an artificial diet for koalas. Pp 123-128 in Biology of the Koala, edited by Lee, A.K., Handasyde K. A. and Sanson G. D. Surrey Beatty and Sons, Chipping Norton, Chipping Norton, NSW.
Phillips, S., Callaghan, J. and Thompson V. 2000. The tree species preferences of koalas ( Phascolarctos cinereus) inhabitating forest and woodland communities on quaternary deposits in the Port Stephens area, New South Wales. Wildlife Research 27, 1-10.
Reed, P. and Lunney, D., 1990. Habitat loss: the key problem for the long term survival of koalas in New South Wales. Pp 9-31 in: Koala Summit managing koalas in New South Wales, edited by D. Lunney, C. Urquhart, and P. Reed, NPWS Sydney.
SFNSW 1995 Coffs Harbour Urunga Management Areas. Environmental Impact Statement. SFNSW Sydney.
SFNSW 2000 Koala plan of management. Pine Creek State forest. SFNSW Coffs Harbour.
Smith A. P., 1991. Forest policy: fostering environmental conflict in the timber industry. Pp 301-314 in Conservation of Australia's forest fauna, edited by D. Lunney. Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales, Mosman, NSW.
Smith, A., 1995 Reappraisal of survey design for fauna impact assessment in state forests of north east NSW. Report to State Forests of NSW. Department of Ecosystem Management, University of New England, Armidale.
Smith, A., 1997a Koalas in the Pine Creek Study Area: conservation significance and recommendations for management. Report to State Forests of NSW, Coffs Harbour.
Smith, A. P. and Lee, A. K., l984. The evolution of strategies for survival and reproduction in possums and gliders. Pp. l7-33 In Possums and Gliders, edited by A. P. Smith and I. D. Hume, Surrey Beatty and Sons, Chipping Norton, NSW.
Smith, A. P., Moore, D. M. and Andrews, S. A., 1992 Proposed forestry operations in the Glen Innes Management Area, impacts on fauna. Austeco Pty. Ltd., 97 pp.
Smith, A. P., Andrews, S. A. and Moore, D. M., 1994 Terrestrial fauna of the Grafton and Casino State Forest Management Areas, description and assessment of forestry impacts. State Forests of NSW, 136 pp.
Smith, A.P., Andrews S. A., Gration G., Quin, D., and Sullivan. B., 1995. Description and assessment of forestry impacts on fauna of the Urunga-Coffs Harbour Management Areas. Supplementary Report No 4. Coffs Harbour and Urunga Forest Management Area. Environmental Impact Statement. State Forests of NSW. 160pp.
Smith, A. P., and Andrews, S. 1997 Koala habitat, abundance and distribution in the Pine Creek Study Area. Report to SFNSW Austeco, Armidale NSW.
Smith, A. P. Horning N. H., and Moore, D. M., 1997. Lemur conservation planning in western Madagascar. Conservation Biology 11, 498-512.
Ward, S., 2003 Koalas and the community: a study of low density populations in southern Sydney Ph.D thesis, University of Western Sydney.
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References

Andrews, S. P., Gration, G. Quin, D. and Smith A. P. 1994 Description and assessment of forestry impacts on fauna of the Urbenville Forestry Management Area. Report to State Forests of NSW. Austeco Pty. Ltd. 150 pp.
Attiwill, P. Burgman, M. and Smith A. P. 1996 Gaps and clusters silviculture: how well does it balance wood production and biodiversity conservation. A report by the review panel to the Ministerial Committee established to review the principles and application of the gaps and clusters technique. Minister for Land and Water Conservation. Sydney.
Austeco 1993 Bellinger River water supply scheme, Environmental Impact Statement, Flora and Fauna Studies. Mitchell McCotter and Associates, Sydney.
Baur G.N. 1965 Forest types in New South Wales. Forestry Commission of NSW Research Note No. 17, FCNSW, Sydney.
Degabriele, R. 1981. A relative shortage of nitrogenous food in the ecology of the koala ( Phascolarctos cinereus). Australian Journal of Ecology 6:139-141.
Dunning A. and Smith A. P. 1986 Integration of arboreal mammal and reptile conservation with timber production in moist hardwood forests of New South Wales. Department of Ecosystem Management, University of New England, Armidale.
Ferrier S. and Smith A. P. 1990. Using geographic information systems for biological survey design, analysis and extrapolation. Australian Biologist 3:105-116.
Fleay, D. 1937. Observation on the koala in captivity. Successful rearing in the Melbourne Zoo. Australian Zoologist 9: 68-80
Florence, R. 1996 Ecology and silviculture of eucalypt forests. CSIRO Canberra.
Hindell, M.A. and Lee, A.K., 1987. Habitat use and tree preferences of koalas in a mixed eucalypt forest. Australian Wildlife Research. 14: 349-360.
Kavanagh, R.P, Debus, S., Tweedie, T. and Webster, R., 1995. Distribution of nocturnal forest birds and mammals in Northeastern New South Wales: relationships with environmental variables and management history. Wildlife Research 22: 359-377.
Landsberg, J., 1990. Dieback or rural eucalypts: response of foliar dietary quality and herbivory to defoliation. Australian Journal of Ecology. 15: 89-96.
Lee, A, and Martin, R., 1988 The koala. A Natural History. New South Wales University Press, Sydney.
Lunney, D., Moon, C., and Matthews A., 1996. A 1990 survey of the koala Phascolarctos cinereus population at Iluka in northern New South Wales. Pp12-122 in Koalas, Research for Management, edited by Gordon, G., World Koala Research Inc, Brisbane, Queensland.
Lunney, D., Esson, C., Moon, C., Ellis, M., and Matthews A., 1997. A community based survey of the koala, Phascolarctos cinereus, in the Eden Region of Southeastern New South Wales. Wildlife Research 24:111-128.
Lunney, D. Matthews, A., Moon, C., and Ferrier S., 2000. Incorporating habitat mapping into practical koala conservation on private lands. Conservation Biology, 14, 3: 669-680.
Melzer, A. and Houston, W., 1997. Distribution and ecology of the koala. Report to State Forests of NSW, SFNSW Coffs Harbour.
Mitchell P. J., Bilney, R. and Martin, R.W., 1988. Population structure and reproductive status of koalas on Raymond Island, Victoria. Australian Wildlife Research 15, 511-14
Mitchell P. J and Martin, R.W., 1990. The structure and dynamics of koala populations-French Island in perspective. Pp 97-108 in Biology of the Koala, edited by Lee, A.K., Handasyde K. A. and Sanson G. D. Surrey Beatty and Sons, Chipping Norton, NSW.
Moon C. 1995. Investigation of logging and koala habitat, Pine Creek State forest, Urunga Forestry District. Report to the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, Hurstville, 25 October 1995.
Moore B. D., and Foley W. 2000. A review of feeding and diet selection in koalas ( Phascolarctos cinereus) Australian Journal of Zoology 48, 317-333.
RL Newman and Partners, 1996 A brief history of forestry management at Pine Creek for the Forestry Commission of NSW. Report No. 1112 to SFNSW Coffs Harbour Region, RL Newman & Partners, Canberra.
NSW NPWS, 1994 Fauna of north-east NSW forests. North East Forest Biodiversity Study Report No. 3, unpublished report, NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service.
Pahl, L. and Hume, I. 1991. Preferences for Eucalyptus species of the new England Tablelands initial development of an artificial diet for koalas. Pp 123-128 in Biology of the Koala, edited by Lee, A.K., Handasyde K. A. and Sanson G. D. Surrey Beatty and Sons, Chipping Norton, Chipping Norton, NSW.
Phillips, S., Callaghan, J. and Thompson V. 2000. The tree species preferences of koalas ( Phascolarctos cinereus) inhabitating forest and woodland communities on quaternary deposits in the Port Stephens area, New South Wales. Wildlife Research 27, 1-10.
Reed, P. and Lunney, D., 1990. Habitat loss: the key problem for the long term survival of koalas in New South Wales. Pp 9-31 in: Koala Summit managing koalas in New South Wales, edited by D. Lunney, C. Urquhart, and P. Reed, NPWS Sydney.
SFNSW 1995 Coffs Harbour Urunga Management Areas. Environmental Impact Statement. SFNSW Sydney.
SFNSW 2000 Koala plan of management. Pine Creek State forest. SFNSW Coffs Harbour.
Smith A. P., 1991. Forest policy: fostering environmental conflict in the timber industry. Pp 301-314 in Conservation of Australia's forest fauna, edited by D. Lunney. Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales, Mosman, NSW.
Smith, A., 1995 Reappraisal of survey design for fauna impact assessment in state forests of north east NSW. Report to State Forests of NSW. Department of Ecosystem Management, University of New England, Armidale.
Smith, A., 1997a Koalas in the Pine Creek Study Area: conservation significance and recommendations for management. Report to State Forests of NSW, Coffs Harbour.
Smith, A. P. and Lee, A. K., l984. The evolution of strategies for survival and reproduction in possums and gliders. Pp. l7-33 In Possums and Gliders, edited by A. P. Smith and I. D. Hume, Surrey Beatty and Sons, Chipping Norton, NSW.
Smith, A. P., Moore, D. M. and Andrews, S. A., 1992 Proposed forestry operations in the Glen Innes Management Area, impacts on fauna. Austeco Pty. Ltd., 97 pp.
Smith, A. P., Andrews, S. A. and Moore, D. M., 1994 Terrestrial fauna of the Grafton and Casino State Forest Management Areas, description and assessment of forestry impacts. State Forests of NSW, 136 pp.
Smith, A.P., Andrews S. A., Gration G., Quin, D., and Sullivan. B., 1995. Description and assessment of forestry impacts on fauna of the Urunga-Coffs Harbour Management Areas. Supplementary Report No 4. Coffs Harbour and Urunga Forest Management Area. Environmental Impact Statement. State Forests of NSW. 160pp.
Smith, A. P., and Andrews, S. 1997 Koala habitat, abundance and distribution in the Pine Creek Study Area. Report to SFNSW Austeco, Armidale NSW.
Smith, A. P. Horning N. H., and Moore, D. M., 1997. Lemur conservation planning in western Madagascar. Conservation Biology 11, 498-512.
Ward, S., 2003 Koalas and the community: a study of low density populations in southern Sydney Ph.D thesis, University of Western Sydney.
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