Koala Bears

Koala Bears
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Koala Bears Habitat

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Koala Bears Habitat

Where do the koalas live? Koalas live in the eucalyptus woodlands of the eastern side of Australia.   They live in forest of eucalyptus (yoo-Kuh – LIP – tuss) trees.

They inhabit the large Eastern part of Australia and can be found in greater numbers in the Northeast and Southeast of this vast territory, and only in trees, in fact they live only in certain types of trees, called eucalyptus trees, where they eat the leaves.
Their distribution has a lot to do with the type of eucalyptus that exists in each area.

Koalas are highly specialized to survive only in one type of habitat; in woodland with plenty of eucalyptus trees, also known as gum trees. Places like that provide the koala with food, water, safety from ground predators, and all other needs. Koalas do not have dens, tree- holes, or nests. They sleep, eat, and breed on the branches.

Unlike most mammals, koalas never make dens or permanent homes. They do have home territories, but they will not stay in one particular tree.
 
The koala is an arboreal animal. Arboreal means “living in trees”. Koalas live, eat, and sleep in the top branches of eucalyptus trees, also known as gum trees.
Males koalas have a special area on their chest that leaves a scent. They rub their chests on their “home trees” to leave their scent and mark the trees as their own.

 

 
Red River gum trees 
Red River gum trees, one of the species of eucalyptus that provide koalas with both food and shelter.

 

Koalas eastern australia map
The reddish brown area indicates where koalas live along the eastern coast of Australia

Koalas live in along, narrow strip of eastern Australia, near the coast of the Pacific Ocean. This area includes several different climates, and there are some differences among the koalas that make their homes there.  The three kinds of koalas; Victoria koala, the New South Wales koala, and the Queensland koala, are named after the states in which they live.

Victoria koala

victoria koala 
Lives in the southern part of Australia, where the climate is cool. It is the largest of the three types of koalas.

Queensland koala
Queensland koala
The Queensland koala –Lives in the northern part of Australia. The weather in Queensland is very hot. This koala’s coat is lightweight and pale in color.

New South Wales koala
New South Wales koala
The New South Wales koala was the first to be seen by Western explores. This koala is most familiar to people in Europe and North America.

* Home ranges of koala often overlap. A male koala is more active than a female, and usually he has a bigger home range. Indeed, it may include the ranges of three or four females. But these neighbors rarely meet each other. Koalas are solitary animals.  They hear, see, and smell others nearby and avoid them. They live peacefully like this throughout most of the year.

Fossil remains of koalas have been found in Western Australia, central South Australia, and northwest Queensland. These are areas where koalas are unable to live today, because the climate is too dry. Although we do not know the exact distribution of koalas before the Europeans arrived, we do know that that eucalyptus forests once covered much of eastern Australia. These forests would have provided large areas of ideal habitat for koalas. There is no doubt that these animals used to live over a much greater part of Australia than they do today.

Huge areas of koala habitat have now been cleared away. Here trees have been cut down to make way for industry and homes south of Sidney. You can see the remaining woodland on these hills in the distance.

 
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