fbpx

Endangered Animals: The Koala

Avatar for Eduardo CabreraWritten by:

The koala, an iconic Australian marsupial, is endangered due to deforestation and threats such as fires and drought. Help by volunteering near your community. #Koala #Conservation

koala

From being a vulnerable species, it has been elevated to an endangered species. 

This marsupial, typical of the eastern part of Australia; It is known, like kangaroos, for carrying its young in its pouches for a long period.

Koalas are unique marsupials found exclusively in Australia. Known for their adorable appearance and generally calm demeanor, these animals have a number of fascinating characteristics and behaviors that deserve attention. Read a little about them and you will understand why their continuity is threatened by man.

Koala Customs

Koalas are arboreal animals that spend most of their lives in eucalyptus trees. They are solitary and territorial, and although they may share territories with other koalas, they keep their distance. Their days consist mainly of sleeping and feeding; They sleep about 18 to 22 hours a day due to the low energy content of their diet. When they are awake, they dedicate themselves to eating eucalyptus leaves, of which they can consume up to 500 grams a day. This specialized diet not only provides them with food, but also most of the moisture they need, as they rarely come down to the ground to drink water.

Reproduction of the Koalas

Koala mating season runs from September to March. During this time, males make loud growls to attract females and scare away other males. Gestation lasts about 35 days, after which a very small, immature offspring is born and crawls to the mother's marsupial pouch, where it will remain for approximately six months. After leaving the pouch, the calf will continue to ride on its mother's back and continue to feed on breast milk and a special substance called “pap,” which the mother produces to help the calf adapt to its diet of leaves. eucalyptus.

Glands in the Chest of Males

Adult males have a gland in their chest that secretes a strong-smelling oily substance. They use this gland to mark their territory, rubbing their chest against trees. This behavior helps to communicate their presence to other koalas and establish their dominance in the area.

Koala Sound

Koalas are generally silent, but during mating season, males make deep, guttural sounds known as “bellowing.” These sounds can be heard several kilometers away and play a crucial role in mating behavior as well as territory defense.

Koala Diseases

Koalas face various health threats. One of the most common diseases is chlamydia, caused by the bacteria Chlamydia pecorum, which can cause blindness, infertility and, in severe cases, death. Another significant threat is a weakened immune system, often exacerbated by environmental stress and habitat loss, making koalas more susceptible to infections and diseases.

Koalas are complex animals with unique behaviors and adaptations that allow them to survive in their specialized environment. However, their dependence on eucalyptus forests and increasing threats to their habitat make the conservation of these marsupials a crucial and urgent task.

Koalas, in danger of extinction?

Its high consumption of leaves Eucalyptus requires at least 100 trees per individual; which represents a challenge in the face of massive deforestation of its habitat.

Although its status has been questioned due to uncertainty and variation in population trends throughout its range, in general, it has decreased by around 28% in the last 18-24 years. Current threats include habitat loss and modification, wildfires, disease, and drought. The additional threat of climate change is expected to increase the rate of decline in the koala population over the next 20-30 years.

Their habitat is in danger, it is increased given its dependence on the existence of eucalyptus forests, as well as the increase in traffic routes that cross its ecosystem, reducing its life expectancy to a few years, while in captivity they can get to live up to 19 years.

Despite these data, breeding programs and reintroduction of individuals into forests have been carried out in Australia; Likewise, Australians have become increasingly aware of the danger they are in, so they take greater precautions on the roads when seeing koalas near the edge of the roads. Likewise, the roads near their territories have been extensively signposted, and telephone numbers have been provided to help wildlife in case of accidents.

The year 2020 was a year of a harsh, dry summer in South Australia with an incidence of fires never seen before. Eucalyptus globulus forests, its scientific name, have been devastated by forest fires, putting not only the food chain of these ecosystems, but the Koala population itself.

The calculated numbers of burned animals were counted in hundreds of millions of species, so the hand of man, on this occasion, is necessary to recover the balance of the forests and avoid their re-classification by the International Union for Conservation in the red book as a species in Danger of extinction.

If you want to help the fauna in danger of extinction try to be Voluntary in a center near your community!

Frequently asked questions from our readers:

The main threats facing the endangered Koala are habitat loss due to deforestation, forest fires, climate change and chlamydia disease. Read more here: https://www.equilibriumx.com/ecoturismo-y-conservacion/animales-en-peligro-de-extincion-el-koala
Did you find this FAQ helpful?
Thumbs Up Icon
Thumbs Down Icon

The koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) is an arboreal marsupial native to Australia. It is known for its adorable appearance, with rounded ears, a large nose, and thick, soft fur. Although they are often called “koala bears,” they are not related to bears.

Did you find this FAQ helpful?
Thumbs Up Icon
Thumbs Down Icon

Koalas live in eucalyptus forests along the east and southeast coast of Australia. They prefer areas with abundant eucalyptus trees, as they depend on these leaves as their main food source.

Did you find this FAQ helpful?
Thumbs Up Icon
Thumbs Down Icon

Koalas feed almost exclusively on eucalyptus leaves. These leaves are low in nutrients and high in fiber, so koalas have a slow metabolism and spend much of the day sleeping to conserve energy. A koala can consume around 500 grams of eucalyptus leaves per day.

Did you find this FAQ helpful?
Thumbs Up Icon
Thumbs Down Icon

Koalas sleep between 18 and 22 hours a day. This is due to their low-energy diet and the need to digest eucalyptus leaves, which are toxic to many other animals.

Did you find this FAQ helpful?
Thumbs Up Icon
Thumbs Down Icon

Koalas are endangered due to the loss of their natural habitat, mainly caused by deforestation and urban development. Other factors threatening koalas include diseases such as chlamydia, dog attacks, traffic accidents and climate change, which affects the availability of their main food, eucalyptus leaves.

Did you find this FAQ helpful?
Thumbs Up Icon
Thumbs Down Icon

To help protect koalas, you can support conservation initiatives that protect and restore their natural habitat. It is also important to promote sustainable practices that minimize destruction of koala habitat. Additionally, contributing to organizations dedicated to the research and care of injured or sick koalas can make a significant difference.

Did you find this FAQ helpful?
Thumbs Up Icon
Thumbs Down Icon

Last modified: 2024-05-18T18:12:07+10:00

5Shares