Applying Social Marketing to Koala Conservation: The “Leave It” Pilot Program

  • Patricia DavidEmail author
  • Bo Pang
  • Sharyn Rundle-Thiele
Part of the Springer Texts in Business and Economics book series (STBE)


Koala populations are declining, and there are needs to reverse this trend. Using social marketing which aims to change behavior for social or environmental benefit, this case study demonstrates how social marketing was applied to achieve environmental change. A pilot program name “Leave It” was designed and developed with dog owners and experts including koala conservation officers and dog trainers in order to reduce dog and koala interactions. A four-week dog obedience training program was implemented, and a mixed method outcome evaluation was undertaken. Results indicate that five of seven dog behaviors measures were changed from baseline to follow-up, namely sit, stay, come back when called every time, wildlife aversion, and stay quiet on command. Findings of this pilot program provide evidence of the effectiveness and potential of social marketing to change behaviors in an environmental context.


Social marketing Environmental protection Koala conversation Behavioral change 


  1. Ajzen, I. (1991). The theory of planned behavior. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 50(2), 179–211.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Carins, J. E., & Rundle-Thiele, S. R. (2014). Eating for the better: A social marketing review (2000–2012). Public Health Nutrition, 17(7), 1628–1639.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Hall, C. M., Adams, N. A., Bradley, J. S., Bryant, K. A., Davis, A. A., Dickman, C. R., … Calver, M. C. (2016). Community attitudes and practices of urban residents regarding predation by pet cats on wildlife: An international comparison. PLoS One, 11(4). Scholar
  4. Law, B., Caccamo, G., Roe, P., Truskinger, A., Brassil, T., Gonsalves, L., et al. (2017). Development and field validation of a regional, management-scale habitat model: A koala Phascolarctos cinereus case study. Ecology and Evolution, 7(18), 7475–7489.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. McAlpine, C., Lunney, D., Melzer, A., Menkhorst, P., Phillips, S., Phalen, D., et al. (2015). Conserving koalas: A review of the contrasting regional trends, outlooks and policy challenges. Biological Conservation, 192, 226–236.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Queensland Government, Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (2008). Koalas and dogs. Queensland, Australia. Retrieved from: (accessed May 2017).
  7. Redlands City Council, Redlands Koala Conservation Strategy. (2016). Retrieved from: (accessed May 2017).

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Social Marketing at Griffith, Griffith UniversityNathanAustralia

Personalised recommendations