Koala is an emblematic animal of Australia. Here is everything you need to know about this little marsupial.
What does the koala eat?
Koala is unique in Australia. It is the largest arboreal herbivore on the island-continent, and one of the rare vertebrates to be able to eat only eucalyptus leaves, a toxic plant for most other leaf eaters. The ecological equivalent of neotropics is lazy.
In the wild, the Koalas consume about 510 grams of fresh eucalyptus leaves every day.
Does the koala drink water?
Scientists have long believed that the marsupial almost did not drink. It was admitted that he hydrated thanks to the water contained in his food, the fresh leafs of eucalyptus, drinking water directly in case of extreme necessity.
But recent studies have also shown that he can drink thanks to tree trunks. Several individuals were thus observed licking the wet surfaces of the branches and tree trunks, even when water was available nearby thanks to dams.
How long is the Koala?
The koala may be able to eat the toxic leaves of eucalyptus, and drink thanks to them, it is not completely without consequences for it. Eucalyptus leaves are very low in energy, but rich in toxins. Digering them therefore requires a lot of effort at the Koala.
And sleeping is the best way to do so, to save your energy as much as possible. He therefore spends an average of 18 hours to 20 hours a day sleeping, and lives at night. So that means that if you see a koala awake during the day, it is probably a problem.
How are Koalas are born?
Like all marsupials, the female koala gives birth to a tiny baby, not completely formed. The latter must then provide efforts to make their way to the maternal pocket, to finish developing safely. Among the marsupials, the koala is the most closely linked to the wombats. *
Both have the backward pocket and not forward and in kangaroos. This pocket sense is easier to clean and closer to the birth channel.
Is the koala endangered?
The Koalas were hardly affected by the violent fires that ravaged Australia between the end of 2019 and early 2020. Thus, more than 61,000 individuals perished in the flames.
The Australian government has therefore announced the launch of a vast national plan to identify its Koalas population, classified as a vulnerable species. It has always been difficult to estimate the population of Koalas.
In 2016, scientists estimated that the territory housed more than 300,000 specimens. However, Australian Koala Foundation (AKF) says that these numbers are largely overestimated. According to the NGO, the population reaches less than 80,000 individuals, or even less than 43,000.
The main threat is the destruction and bursting of their forest habitats. A fragmented habitat means that koalas must cross roads and cleared areas to move between the trees, which exposes them to car collisions and dog attacks.
Koalas also suffer from epidemics of diseases, which would be due in part to the stress of the destruction of the habitat.
Thus, more than half of these small marsupials are affected by chlamydia. This very painful MST for them can lead to the loss of sight, infertility, even death.