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the koala

A Living Australian Icon

The Koala

A living Australian icon, the koala is one of the world’s most loved animals. There are a lots of dangers to the Koala, however, together as a community, we can all play our part to save the Koala.

The different characteristics of the Koala, and how they behave socially are all important factors to understand how we can all play a key role in the survival of the species.

Bushfires

Because the koala’s habitat is made up of eucalypt forests, they live in some of the most dangerous places for fire in the world. How fire affects koala decline or recovery depends on the size, intensity and frequency of fires. 

Koala Health

Having lots of different koalas from different families is important for good health, as it makes koalas more resistant to changing conditions, diseases and climate. 

Between August and February koalas are more active as they look for mates! When we build roads, houses or fences that block the koalas from each other we make it harder for them to breed. 

Environment

Before European settlement, millions of koalas lived in Australia. Now there could be fewer than 300,000. Although koalas live in National Parks and State Forests, a lot live on privately-owned land. One reason for this is that Koalas prefer the same type of places where people like to live. Unfortunately, the current rules allow for the removal of koala habitat on privately-owned properties.

Threats

The loss and changes to the koalas habitat are the main cause of direct threats to koalas such as being hit by cars, dog attacks, and increases in disease due to stress. 

When habitat is removed, or disturbed by roads, agriculture or fencing, koalas’ home ranges are forced closer together, overlapping, with a reduction in size and quality. This increases competition between them, and decreases the amount of time they have to look for food and rest. That means there is a decrease in the overall condition and health of individuals and populations.