Mobile app aims to preserve koala population in Port Macquarie

6 JANUARY 2023

Mobile app aims to preserve koala population in Port Macquarie

High school students inspired a mobile app to track koalas on the Mid-North Coast, which was developed by a Charles Sturt academic and PhD student.

  • Charles Sturt staff and student develop mobile app to track koalas in Port Macquarie

A Charles Sturt University academic and PhD student have used technology to preserve wildlife on the Mid-North Coast.

Senior Lecturer and Course Director in the Charles Sturt School of Computing, Mathematics and Engineering in Port Macquarie, Dr Sabih Rehman, led the project, which is the development of a koala tracking app to help locate injured koalas in the Port Macquarie region.

The idea came from students from Kempsey Adventist High School as part of the Koala Smart project in late 2019.

Dr Rehman worked with Charles Sturt graduate Dr Muhammed Jafer to develop the mobile app in consultation with the Koala Hospital and Koala Smart Foundation.

“The intention of the app is to make it easy for the public to report sightings of injured or distressed koalas so they can be rescued and provided with timely medical attention,” he said.

As Port Macquarie has one of the state’s largest koala populations, Dr Rehman said the app could have a lasting impact.

Dr Jafer said that it was a pleasure to work on this project with his mentor Dr Rehman and get a chance to be involved in a project that helps protect our precious wildlife.

“I am also impressed with the initial idea that was presented by the students from Kempsey Adventist School, as it shows that our new generation is keen to protect environmental habitats,” he said. 

The app has been designed for Port Macquarie, but Dr Rehman said it can easily be adapted for other surroundings.

“As technology is constantly evolving, the app can be enhanced to include more features and/or to track more endangered wildlife,” he said.

“Furthermore, we are looking for funding to make this app available to the wider public to help save koala habitats.”

Dr Rehman is currently working at Charles Sturt managing several postgraduate information technology programs that provide pathways for industry professionals in higher education.

“I work in the technology domain and am always looking for innovative solutions to everyday problems faced by consumers,” he said.

Media Note:

To arrange interviews with Dr Sabih Rehman, contact Nicole Barlow at Charles Sturt Media on 0429 217 026 or

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Port Macquarie Charles Sturt University