* The Spot Assessment Technique

Stephen Phillips & John Callaghan
Australian Zoologist 35 (3), 774 - 780

In order to more effectively conserve Koalas, the National Koala Conservation and Management Strategy 2009 - 2014 recognises the need for development of reliable approaches to the assessment of Koala habitat. This paper describes a tree-based sampling methodology that utilises binary data derived from the presence/absence of Koala faecal pellets within a prescribed area beneath trees to determine whether the use of a given area of habitat by Koalas is important. Confidence intervals from a data set comprising 14,313 trees from 405 field plots  have been utilised to assign threshold values for low, medium (normal) and high Koala activity for three population density/habitat biomes in eastern Australia. The approach is expected to assist field-based assessments by those interested in clarifying aspects of habitat utilisation by freeranging Koalas, especially where identification of important areas for protection and management is required.