The Koala, an emblematic animal, is a marsupial living in the eucalyptus forests of the Australian continent.
A life spent mainly in trees
It can live for 13 – 18 years and, according to its age, sex and available food, can measure up to 85 cm and weigh up to 14 kg. It has a dense fur, just as insulating as Arctic animals’ fur. It is one of the very rare animals that can feed on eucalyptus leaves and bark, vegetation that is toxic and very low in nutrients. Because of this impoverished diet, the Koala has a slow metabolism, like that of a Sloth. It sleeps up to 20 hours per day and feeds for the rest of time, choosing the least toxic leaves, which it crushes thanks to its adapted teeth and which it laboriously digests.
The Koala lives primarily in trees, jumping from one to another, coming down to the ground only to climb into a tree that it otherwise cannot reach. It climbs up and down with its head always upwards, having powerful muscles and opposable fingers. Strong claws allow it to hang on to branches. The female gives birth to a single cub which remains in her pouch for more than six months. Twins are extremely rare in Koalas.
A “vulnerable” species
- Name: Koala
- Latin name: Phascolarctossinereus
- Origin: Australia
- IUCN status: Vulnerable
- Cites: --
The Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary in Brisbane is an Australian centre for breeding and protection.
In addition to koalas, the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary has been home to over 100 native animal species since its creation in 1927. The Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary also raises funds to support research for a vaccine against chlamydia in koalas, the breeding of endangered species such as the Mary River Turtle, and awareness-raising campaigns, for the conservation of the Tasmanian Devil and other species.