Car strikes were responsible for an alarming rise in koala deaths in the home of the last healthy colony around Sydney, as more koala deaths took the toll since last July to 26.
That's just in the Campbelltown local government area, wildlife rescue organisation WIRES said, after another death among the now endangered species on Appin Rd this week.
The organisation's figures show this is a major rise in koala deaths in the LGA, from the previous financial year when there were 12 fatalities.
WIRES cautions that these are just the deaths we know about, having been reported. And there are more if Heathcote Rd, outside the Campbelltown LGA, is included.
More environment news: 'Zombie' licence revoked for copper smelter slag dump at Primbee wetland
Of the 26 deaths - 19 on Appin Rd and seven on Picton Rd - 19 were caused by a car.
WIRES volunteer Emma Meddows is one of a small number of people who responds to callouts when koalas are hit, to check if they may still be alive, and to take the bodies away.
She said she'd never seen it this bad.
"This is significantly more than last year," she said.
"I've not seen it like this in all my years. I just feel like every second phone call at the moment is going to be one that isn't a good one."
One of Australia's most iconic animals now faces the threat of extinction, listed as endangered as development, particularly housing estates, encroaches further into the marsupial's habitat.
The area around Campbelltown is home to the Sydney area's last koala population free of the disease chlamydia, which has a devastating effect on the animals and has been drawing nearer.
Greens MLC Kate Faehrmann chaired the NSW Upper House Inquiry into Koala Populations and their Habitat in NSW which recommended that the NSW Government urgently incorporate an underpass and overpass on Appin Road suitable for koalas and other wildlife with appropriate wildlife corridors at both entrance points.
This would provide a crossing point from land under development for LendLease's Figtree Hill and imminent Gilead housing estates.
But three years after the enquiry work had not started.
"You don't have to be a scientist to work out that the deaths of at least 20 koalas a year in a population of around 300 is literally an extinction trajectory," she said.
Asked why the underpass was taking so long, a Transport for NSW spokesman said the agency was taking the necessary time to get it right.
"Transport for NSW is working through the complexities and conflicting views from stakeholders regarding proposed measures, including koala fencing, grids and fauna underpasses designed to minimise koala strikes along Appin Rd and preserve local koala populations," he said.
"Transport will continue to work with local stakeholders regarding the design and delivery of the works."
The NSW Government has pledged to create the Georges River Koala National Park in land between Appin and Glenfield, to the east of Campbelltown.
Meanwhile, WIRES is meeting with LendLease on-site at the end of this month to discuss solutions, which a spokesman said was a step forward.
"A collaborative approach is what is needed to provide a solution to this complex situation," he said.
After more than five years doing this, Ms Meddows is emotional when talking about collecting dead koalas but she wants the word to get out to authorities - and to drivers.
"It's really important that people know about these things," she said.
"And to just slow down."
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.