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Wallaroo Station Animal Fact Sheet
Phascolarctos cinereus

Coastal regions of Eastern Australia.

The koala lives almost entirely on eucalyptus leaves. This is likely to be an evolutionary adaptation that takes advantage of an otherwise unfilled ecological niche, since eucalyptus leaves are low in protein, high in indigestible substances, and contain compounds that are toxic to most species. Like wombats and sloths, the koala has a very low metabolic rate for a mammal and rests motionless for about 18 to 20 hours a day, sleeping most of that time. Wild koalas that are disturbed are known to be violent.

Koalas do not drink water because they get all of the water they need from eucalyptus leaves. “koala” is the Aborigine word for “no water.”

Historically, the koala was onced hunted to near extinction, in fact between 1919 and 1924, an estimated 8 million koalas were killed for their soft fur. Today, 34% of koala deaths are caused by collisions with motor vehicles in the wild. Other common causes of koala mortality include domestic dogs, wild fires, disease and loss of habitat.

Koalas are typically solitary animals, only socializing during the mating season.

Click here to hear the vocalization of a male koala.

Habitat: Scrubland and eucalyptus forests.
Diet: Only eucalyptus leaves.
Status: Threatened (U.S. Fish & Wildlife)
Approximate Dimensions of Adult: Weight: up to 26 lb (male) up to 17 lb (female)
Lifespan: 15-20 years.
Reproduction & Offspring: Give birth to one young at a time after 25-35 days of gestation.


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