Friday, August 22, 2008


Size: 70 - 90cm (27 - 36 inch)

Weight: 4 - 9kg (9 - 20 lb)

The males are larger than females.

Southern koalas are 30% larger than the Northern koalas

Koala's fur is thick soft and pleasant to touch. Ears have long white hairs on the tips.
Koalas can live as long as 17 years, however males life expectancy is less than 10 years (due to injuries during fights, dogs and cars). Females generally live longer. Koalas living in an undisturbed habitat would have a greater life expectancy than those living in suburbia.
Koalas prefer to move around just after sunset spending daytimes asleep in the fork of a tree. Koala spends sleeping 75% of its time. Just after sunset koalas move around and can often be heard "barking" aggressively at other koalas.

Koala habitat facts

State: Queensland - Estimated population - 50'000
Victoria and South Australia - Estimated population - 15'000
New South Wales - Estimated population - 15'000

Koalas live in eucalypt forests of Eastern and South-Eastern Australia.
Koalas habitat requirements include the presence of other koalas and preferred food trees.
Koalas are found in a range of habitats, from coastal islands and tall eucalypt forests to low woodlands inland. Their habitat quality can be measured by density of the food trees. Koalas do not live in rainforest.

Koala feeding facts

Koala is the only mammal, other than the Greater Glider and Ringtail Possum, which can survive on a diet of eucalyptus leaves.Koala seldom drinks water obtaining it from the eucalyptus leaves, which are 50% consisting of water. Although, they can drink water if due to drought the leaves water content is reduced.Koalas consume eucalyptus leaves and bark from 12 different eucalyptus tree species. They also consume mistletoe and box leaves.Koala in Victoria would have different diet from koala in Queensland as different species of eucalypts grow in different parts of Australia.Sometimes koalas eat leaves from other trees such as wattle tree, tea tree, paperbark tree.
Each koala eats approximately 200 to 500 grams of leaves per day.
Koalas have a slow metabolic rate due to their high-fiber, low nutrient diet. Because they store little or no fat, koalas must adopt strategies that conserve energy. Sleeping is one of them.Koalas sleep for up to 16 hours per day in order to conserve energy.A very slow metabolic rate optimizes its energy requirements and allows koalas to retain food within their digestive system for a relatively long period of time, maximizing the amount of extracted energy.

Koala breeding information

Koalas breed once a year.Mating normally occurs from September to MarchGestation 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 (0.035 oz).It then crawls into its mothers pouch completely unaided, relying on its sense of smell, strong forelimbs and claws.
Once inside the pouch, baby koala attaches itself to one of the two teats and stays there drinking milk for the next six months.

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