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Scientific Name: Phascolarctos cinereus

Common Name: Koala

Found in: Australia

IUCN Redlist Status: Vulnerable

Life Span: 10 – 14 years in the wild

Did you know:

Koalas have 3 fingers and 2 thumbs on each hand

Koalas are marsupials – they are not bears!

Koalas entire diet consists of eucalyptus leaves. In the Dharug aboriginal language, the word "koala" means “no drink”. The koala gets up to 80 per cent of water from the eucalyptus and will usually only be seen drinking water in times of drought or fire.

The story that koalas are drunk or stoned from eucalyptus is not true. The eucalyptus leaves give them very little energy, so they conserve their energy by sleeping up to 20 hours per day.

Estimated number left in the wild: Less than 43,000

Endangered due to:

  • Habitat destruction/loss
  • Increased disturbance by humans
  • Injury or death from traffic
  • Injury or death from domestic dogs
  • Effects of garden pesticides getting into water ways
  • Increased competition for food and territory because of overcrowding (due to habitat loss)

What we can do:

  • Support breeding programs for release
  • Keep pets indoors at night and in secured high-fenced yards during the day.
  • Reduce, reuse and recycle paper and plastic water bottles
  • Reduce the need for logging and habitat destruction
  • Be an eco-tourist: Stick to pathways in the bush and leave nothing but footprints take nothing but photos

No Trees means No Koalas!

Author: Erin Healy, the Walkabout Park Team


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