A report containing the results of the 2014 National Koala Count has been released and is available for use by anyone who needs it. To view the report, click here.
Thank you to all our Citizen Scientists who participated in the 2013 Great Koala Count. You can view the reports here
Koalas are found in many parts of Australia including Eastern Australia, West Australia and South Australia. In some areas have large populations while in other areas Koala numbers are low and difficult to locate.
Koalas require both feeding and shade trees to survive. They feed exclusively on gum leaves. As gum leaves are low in nutrients and contain toxins koalas need to find suitable leaves where the nutrient benefit outweighs the energy required to process the toxins – hence their reputation as fussy eaters. Of the 600 plus species of eucalypts present in Australia only a few tens of species have suitable leaves. These leaves may occur in trees with little canopy cover making them unsuitable shade trees for resting.
Koalas do not live in hollows but rest in the forks of trees and need sufficient canopy to protect them from heat. In cold temperatures they will move to the higher parts of the tree to access more sunlight.
Koalas often need to move between trees along the ground in search of food or shelter. This is when they are at their most vulnerable to attack by dogs or being struck by cars.
Koalas can live as long as 10 to 14 years. Female Koalas reach sexual maturity at about 3 years old and males at 4. The females assess the size and breeding suitability of males based on the growling – grunting sound that they make. Breeding generally only results in one young per year (twins are rare) and the young stays with the mother for a year.
Threats to Koala populations include disease, dog attacks, vehicle strikes and land clearing for urban development and agriculture.
An estimated 4,000 koalas are killed each year by dogs and cars
As approximately 80% of Koalas are found on private land koala conservation requires the support and cooperation of all landholders.
Many individuals, landowners, conservation organizations and government agencies are actively engaged in Koala conservation.
The best conservation actions are informed by good information about the distribution patterns and health of existing populations as well as information about the threats to these populations.