Koala

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Vulnerable

Description

The Koala is a (mainly) arboreal, medium-sized marsupial with a stocky body, large rounded ears, sharp claws and predominantly grey-coloured fur. The species displays sexual dimorphism (males generally are larger than females). There is also a general gradient in body weight from north to south across the biolog range, with larger individuals occurring in the south and smaller individuals occurring in the north (the average weight of males is 6.5 kg in Queensland, compared with 12 kg in Victoria). In the north of the biological species' range, the Koala tends to have shorter, silver-grey fur, whereas in the south it has longer, thicker, brown-grey fur (Martin & Handasyde 1999).

Habitat

In Queensland, the koala’s distribution extends inland from the east coast: from the Wet Tropics interim biogeographic regionalisation of Australia (IBRA) bioregion, into the Einasleigh Uplands bioregion in the north of the state; from the Central Mackay Coast bioregion, through the Brigalow Belt North bioregion to the Desert Uplands and Mitchell Grass Downs bioregions, and from the Southeast Queensland bioregion, through the Brigalow Belt to the Mulga Lands and Channel Country bioregions in the southwest of the state (Patterson 1996; TSSC 2012p). Several of these bioregions extend into northern NSW.

Koalas have been introduced to several islands off the Queensland coast, including Brampton, St Bees and Magnetic Islands (Melzer et al. 2000), which are considered to be part of the listed species. Koalas occurring on North Stradbroke, Newry and Rabbit Islands may be introduced, but recent anecdotal evidence suggests that they may be natural (Ellis 2010 pers. comm. cited in TSSC 2012p; Lee 2010; Melzer et al. 2000).

Reference

Koala © NQ Dry Tropics
Juvenile Koala © NQ Dry Tropics
Koala © NQ Dry Tropics
Koala © NQ Dry Tropics
Koala © NQ Dry Tropics
Koala © NQ Dry Tropics
Koala © NQ Dry Tropics
Koala © NQ Dry Tropics
Potential habitat of the Koala
Potential habitat of the Koala in the Burdekin Dry Tropics Region (Qld Government)

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