'How much can a koala bear...' it seems that they can bear
quite a lot when they get plenty of rest.
For a koala a days work is broken up
into 1 - 3 hours are spent grooming, moving from tree to tree and during the
breeding season searching for a mate. 1 - 3 hours a day are spent feeding. This
feeding occurs in numerous bouts spread across a 24 hour period, especially
during the latter part of the day. This 'frenzied feeding' period can last from
5 minutes to 2 hours, as they slowly munch on eucalypt leaves. That leaves 20
hours of the koala’s day spent resting and sleeping... aahh... it's hard work
being a koala...
Koala's are mainly found long Eastern Australia. Whilst koala's can be found
living in a range of habitats from cool temperate zones through to sub-tropical
zones, as long as the correct food source is available (being only a few
varieties of eucalyptus trees), they are found in their natural habitat nestled
in the branches of their favoured gum trees. In fact, they can be seen wedged in
the branches of the eucalypt trees that provide them with food.
A koala eats about half a kilogram of leaves every day and will only eat from
a few varieties of eucalypt. In Sydney, they eat red gums and mahoganies, whilst
in northern areas of the state, they eat tallowwood and forest red gum, and in
the south, manna gum. Koalas from the west prefer river red gum and ribbon gum.
The koalas on Phillip Island eat manna gum, swamp gum and blue gum. Koalas can
use a variety of other trees for shelter during the day and have been seen in
trees including paperbark, acacia, she-oak, and brush box.
Koalas can be found in Queensland, New South Wales (although they are listed
as vulnerable in NSW) and Victoria. Whilst they were wiped out in South
Australia by the 1930s, they have been successfully reintroduced in some areas.
They have also been introduced into selected national parks in Western
Of course there are a number of parks, reserves and zoos in Australia,
offering an opportunity to get a close up view of these wonderful creatures,
such as Phillip Island in Victoria, Kangaroo Island in South Australia and
Cohunu Koala Park in Western Australia. There is also a thriving colony of
koalas found in Gunnedah, NSW.
Did you know, although they are often referred to as ‘koala bears’, they are
actually marsupials. The koala’s closest relative is the wombat, as they both
have pouches which open towards the rear. Whilst this method of carrying the
young is fine for the wombat, the koalas need strong muscles ringing the pouch
to prevent their young from falling out.