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Australian Wildlife

  Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus)





Koala | Phascolarctos cinereus photo
Koala photographed at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, Brisbane, Queensland.

Image by ozwildlife - Some rights reserved.

Koala | Phascolarctos cinereus photo
Koala photographed at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, Brisbane, Queensland.

Image by ozwildlife - Some rights reserved.

Koala | Phascolarctos cinereus photo
Photographed at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, Brisbane, Queensland. Shows the sharp claws

Image by ozwildlife - Some rights reserved.

Koala | Phascolarctos cinereus photo
Koala. Photographed at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, Brisbane, Queensland. The koala grasps with two digits on one side and three on the other - like it has two "thumbs". This gives it good grasp for climbing.

Image by ozwildlife - Some rights reserved.

Koala | Phascolarctos cinereus photo
Baby Koala. Photographed at Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, Brisbane, Queensland.

Image by ozwildlife - Some rights reserved.

Koala | Phascolarctos cinereus photo
The male Koala has a scent gland on his chest. He rubs his chest on tree trunks to mark his territory.

Image by ozwildlife - Some rights reserved.

Koala | Phascolarctos cinereus photo
Koalas are sometimes killed crossing roads at night. These sign posts warn drivers they are in Koala habitat. Photographed in Pine Rivers shire, Queensland.

Image by ozwildlife - Some rights reserved.



KOALA FACTS

Description
The Koala is a unique Australian marsupial, often incorrectly called a Koala Bear. The males are larger than females. Koalas from southern areas are about 30% larger than the Queensland koalas Koala's fur is thick soft. Ears have long white hairs on the tips. Koalas can live as long as 17 years, however life expectancy is usually less than 10 years due to disease, attacks by dogs, road kills. Koalas sleep for about 75% of the time, becoming active after sunset. During the night they can be heard growling at other koalas. (listen to the call on the audio clip).

Other Names
Koala Bear

Size
70 - 90cm

Habitat
Koalas live in groups in eucalypt forests of Eastern and South-Eastern Australia. Preferred habitat ranges from tall eucalypt forests to low woodlands inland. Koalas do not live in rainforest.

Food
Eucalyptus leaves. Koala seldom drinks water - it gets it from the eucalyptus leaves. Koalas feeds on leaves and bark from 12 different eucalyptus tree species.

Breeding
Koalas breed once a year. Mating normally occurs from September to March Gestation lasts 35 days, after which one koala is born. The baby koala, "joey", is blind, hairless, less than one inch long and weighs less than 1 gram. It then crawls into its mothers pouch completely unaided, relying on its sense of smell, strong forelimbs and claws.

Range
Queensland, Northern parts of NSW and also Victoria

Notes
Australian Scientists Working to Slow Koala Baby Boom

October 1, 2006 12:04 p.m. EST

Nicole King - All Headline News Staff Writer

Canberra, Australia (AHN) - There's a Koala baby boom on one Australian island and scientists are hoping to slow that down. Scientists are hoping a new contraceptive dart will slow down the population explosion of koalas on Kangaroo Island.

The island's eucalyptus trees are dwindling and the island's 28,000 koalas are eating themselves out of a habitat. The animals eat nearly a pound of leaves every day. So far, the contraceptive darts have proved 100 percent successful.

The dart is expected to block reproduction for two years through a slow release of a hormone. It carries a device that's inserted under the skin without sedation.



Conservation Status
The conservation status in the 2004 IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals is "lower risk/near threatened".

Classification
Class:Mammalia
Order:Diprotodontia
Family:Phascolarctidae
Genus:Phascolarctos
Species:cinereus
Common Name:Koala