Koala

Phascolarctos cinereus 

The koala is not a ‘bear’. It is a tree-dwelling, medium-sized marsupial with a stocky body, large rounded ears, sharp claws & variable but predominantly grey-coloured fur. Males generally are larger than females. Koalas are mostly nocturnal and often sleep for up to 18-20 hours each day to conserve their energy as the eucalypt leaf (their main diet) is so low in nutrients.

Distribution & habitat

The koala is native to Australia & is widely distributed from northern Queensland to west of Adelaide in South Australia. Koalas live in a range of temperate, sub-tropical and tropical forest, woodland & semi-arid communities dominated by eucalypt species.

Diet

There are over 900 species of eucalypt in Australia – koalas are known to feed on many species depending on locality & prefer to limit their diet to about 10 types of eucalypt that naturally occur in their location. An adult Koala eats about 1/2 – 1kg  of leaves each night. Koalas don’t normally need to drink (except in drought) as they get most of the moisture they need from the eucalypt leaves.

Life expectancy & Breeding

Average lifespan in the wild is 15-18 years for females; 10-15 years for males. Younger breeding females usually give birth to 1 Joey each year. When the Joey is born, it’s only about 2 centimetres long, is blind and furless and its ears are not yet developed. The Joey stays in its mother’s pouch for about 6 or 7 months, drinking only milk.

Conservation status

VULNERABLE  (IUCN Red List of Threatened Species)

Download fact sheet

Book an Up-Close encounter today

9:30am & 2:30pm daily

Billabong Zoo, Port Macquarie NSW has a long established and world-renowned breeding programme. These are the names of some our resident koalas:  Males: Stoney | MJ | Harley | Leo | Ollie |Lithgow Females: Jess | Robin | Peta | Sarah | Nomes | Danni | Hilda | Annie | Hannalee Joeys: Denise & a new one to be named (April 2017)

KEEPER TALK & PATTING PHOTO OPPORTUNITY : Daily at 10:30am | 1:30pm | 3:30pm