Koala

Phascolarctos cinereus

Koalas are arboreal; they are marsupials and native to Australia.  They live in the tall eucalypt forests and low eucalypt woodlands of eastern Australia, and on some islands off the southern and eastern coasts. NSW, Queensland, Victoria and South Australia are the only states where Koalas are found naturally in the wild. Their closest relatives are wombats.

Koala‘s are solitary and each has its own home range which will often overlap with other Koala’s home ranges. They have favourite food tress which they visit regularly, but rarely will they visit a favourite food tree of another Koala. They sleep for up to 18-20 hours each day. Sleeping conserves energy that is needed to digest their toxic, low-nutrition diet of eucalypt leaves.

Habitat loss, domestic dog attacks, bushfires and road accidents are the greatest threat to Koalas, and they are in serious decline.

From Australian Koala Foundation website:

“In April 2012, the Australian Government declared the Koala as ‘VULNERABLE” under the Federal EPBC Act in New South Wales, the Act and Queensland.  Victoria and South Australia were excluded from the listing.  The AKF believes that the Koala should have been listed in all States.   Research conducted by the AKF strongly suggests the Koala’s conservation status should be upgraded to “CRITICALLY ENDANGERED” in the South East Queensland Bioregion as the Queensland Minister for the Environment has declared them to be “functionally extinct”. “

If you have the privilege to share your environment with these iconic native Australian animals, please ensure their safety by keeping dogs secure, drive slowly on roads where they may be present, and help preserve habitat needed for these beautiful animals survive into the future.