Release site assessment
Once a koala is nearly ready for release into the wild, an appropriate release site must be identified.
For rehabilitators operating outside of SEQ, the most appropriate release site for a koala should be determined with reference to the Code of Practice: Rehabilitation of Sick, Injured, or Orphaned Koalas in Queensland .
For rehabilitators operating within SEQ, the Code of Practice: Rehabilitation of Sick, Injured, or Orphaned Koalas in Queensland must also be referred to. Additionally, the Guideline: Selection of Release Sites for Rehabilitated Koloas in South East Queensland provides further detailed guidance and information.
The Code of Practice: Rehabilitation of Sick, Injured, or Orphaned Koalas in Queensland includes a number of requirements regarding when, where, and how to release a koala, and anyone undertaking releases should ensure they are familiar with all relevant requirements.
Release site assessment tool
Potential release sites should be assessed using the release site assessment tool.
This tool is designed to allow for site assessments for koalas in all scenarios, including koalas rescued as adults or rescued as orphans, those found to be infertile, and for koalas that are within SEQ as well as koalas in other areas of Queensland.
By completing the release site assessment tool, a releaser will ensure they follow key requirements of the law, including that a koala rescue site must always be the first site assessed for suitability, and that only in circumstances where this site is not suitable should alternative sites be considered (up to a maximum distance of 10 kilometres from the rescue site for a non-orphaned koala and up to 20 kilometres for an orphaned koala). The form includes specific assessment criteria for different release sites and different circumstances.
Once the most appropriate release site is identified, a releaser must also obtain approval for the release to occur on the land from the landholder, including for any release into a protected area. The releaser must also make reasonable efforts to ensure that consultation with the relevant Traditional Owners is undertaken prior to a koala being moved from, or into, that Country.