Koala sleeping in a tree

What does it look like?  The Koala is a stocky, arboreal marsupial, with thick greyish fur (shorter and paler in north, and longer and more brownish in south). Ears round and woolly, and nose smooth, black and vertically oval-shaped.

Where is it found?  Eastern Australia, from north-eastern Qld (south of Cape York Peninsula), through central and eastern NSW and Vic (and along Murray River), to far south-eastern SA. Introduced to numerous islands, such as Phillip Island Vic and Kangaroo Island SA.

What are its habitats & habits?  Eucalypt forests and woodlands in lowland areas and along river systems. Arboreal, feeding exclusively on leaves, mostly those of certain species of eucalypts, but will walk on all fours along the ground when moving between trees. Female normally produces a single young (joey), which is protected within her pouch.

Interesting fact:  The young Koala is not born with the gut bacteria needed to digest eucalypt leaves, and obtains this by eating its mother’s pap (faeces).

Scientific name: Phascolarctos cinereus

Size: 680-820 mm TL (size decreases south to north)

Do you want to know more about Australia’s mammals? Check out our latest book “The Naturalist’s Guide to Mammals of Australia” – available for purchase through our secure online store