Moodzie loves Koalas, they are truly awesome creatures, primarily residing within Australia, and most well-known for how they are labelled as “no-drink”, as unlike other animals Koalas do not require to drink water. Koalas are found in the eucalyptus forests of eastern Australia. Moodzie will share some facts about Koalas, as they have grey fur with a cream-coloured chest, and strong, clawed feet, perfect for living in the branches of trees. Although you may have heard people call them koala ‘bears’, these awesome animals aren’t bears at all – they are in fact marsupials. A group of mammals, most marsupials have pouches where their newborns develop. When an infant koala – called a joey – is born, it immediately climbs up to its mother’s pouch. Blind and earless, a joey uses its strong sense of touch and smell, as well as natural instinct, to find its way. A joey grows and develops in the pouch for about six months. Once strong enough, the youngster rides around on its mother’s back for a further six months, only using the pouch to feed. Koala’s grow up to become big eaters, shifting up to one kilogram of eucalyptus leaves in a day! They are fussy, too, and will select the most nutritious and tastiest leaves from the trees where they live. Although these beautiful creatures are protected by law, and not classed as an endangered species, their habitat is under threat. Sadly, around 80% of koala habitat has been lost to human homes, drought and forest fires.

Moodzie would also like to share another nickname for koalas, and that is native bear, as koalas also happen to have very thick fur, sleep a lot, similar to other traditional bears. The koala’s territory is getting smaller because people are cutting down trees and making farms on them. Koalas can only live in one place in the world, Australia. The koala only eats Eucalyptus leaves and it eats so many leaves, it smells like the leaves. The, koala hops from tree to tree and climbs the trees to get the leaves. The koala will eat 2.5 pounds of food a day. It uses its claws to get the branches and get the leaves. The koala used to be endangered because people would kill the koala for its fur. Thus, Moodzie believes Koalas are truly awesome animals, and should be cared about more so, as the chance of their extinction is rather high.

Koalas are Australian Marsupials that carry their young in their pouch. They weigh about 20lb or 9k and have thick grey fur with a tinge of brown. Named after the Aboriginal word meaning ‘no drink’, Koalas receive most of their hydration from Eucalyptus Leaves. At times they will drink from waterways, particularity in times of drought.

Koalas are found in a range of bushland across Australia, ranging from coastal areas with tall Eucalyptus trees to low woodlands. Populations of Koalas will occur where their favorite Eucalyptus trees are present. There are over 600 varieties of Eucalyptus trees available in Australia, but the Koala only prefer about 10 varieties. As different species of Eucalyptus trees grow in different areas of Australia, Koalas will have a different diet in other areas.

Koalas have excellent qualities that make them suited to a life in trees. They have rough pads on their palms and soles helping them to grip onto trees and branches. Their thick wooly fur protects them from extremes in temperature and the rain. Koalas have a highly developed sense of smell that helps them to determine what gum leaves that they should eat and whether they are poisonous to them or not. Their sharp teeth help them to grind and shear the 500 grams of Eucalyptus leaves that they eat each day.

Koalas are nocturnal animals that just love to sleep and rest. On an average they can sleep and rest for between eighteen to twenty hours a day. For the rest of the time they move around, eat, groom themselves and interact socially. They tend to be most active during the night and at dawn and dusk.

Impacts

Bush Fires:  Catastrophic events such as fire can devastate the ecosystem. A single bushfire has the potential to wipe out a single population. In the summer months in Australia, Bushfires are very common. Report a bush fire to the authorities and take care not to start a fire.

Climate Change: The rising levels of green house gasses in the atmosphere can impact the eucalyptus tree by increasing toxins and lowing nutrients. This is the koala’s only food source.

Disease: Koalas tend to be prone to diseases caused by the Chlamydia organism.  Firstly they can go blind due to conjunctivitis. Secondly, they are prone to respiratory diseases such as pneumonia. Lastly, they are susceptible to urinary tract infections, which can result in infertility. Koalas are more prone to disease if they have increased stress.

Habitat Loss: The destruction of eucalyptus trees for housing, roads or agriculture, threatens the survival of the animals.  Habitat protection and restoration is crucial.  Education, communication and community action is required to help the animals.

Human interaction: Hand-feeding can make animals that live in the Eucalyptus tree can make them become dependent on humans for food.

Killing of Animals: In the past Koalas were killed for their fur, but now there are laws to protect them.  At times Koalas are killed by traffic as they cross roads.

Predators and other animals: Goanna, dingoes, powerful owls, wedge-tail eagles and pythons have been known to prey on juvenile koalas. Also dogs and cats can be a threat to koalas.

Toxic Products:  If waterways are polluted, Koalas can become very ill or die. It is import to take care and not use or place toxic substances and pesticides into the waterways.

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Wildlife Warriors and the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital – Global Conservation

Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors was established in 2002 by Steve and Terri Irwin as a way to include and involve other caring people to support the protection of injured, threatened or endangered wildlife.

Home – Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary

Only 12km from Brisbane City, Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is the world’s first and largest koala sanctuary with over 130 koalas. Hold a koala anyti

Australian Koala Foundation

The Australian Koala Foundation (AKF) is the principal non-profit, non-government organisation dedicated to the conservation and effective management of the wild koala and its habitat.

Daisy Hill Koala Centre (Department of Environment and Heritage Protection)

Daisy Hill Koala Centre is an information centre about koalas. The centre is located within Daisy Hill Conservation Park, 25km from Brisbane. Holiday programs are provided and the centre has a curriculum-based environmental education program.