The koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) is often referred to as koala bear perhaps inaccurately because koalas are not bears. They are marsupials. Koala lives in Australia. They are arboreal species.
Adult koalas measure 60 – 85 cm in body length and weighs 4 – 15 kg. Koalas are the largest of all arboreal marsupials. Females are smaller than the males.
Koalas are found in southeastern Australia, New South Wales, southeastern South Australia, eastern Victoria, southwestern Western Australia, and Kangaroo Island.
Koalas make homes in a wide variety of habitats such as tropical forests, open forests, woodlands, temperate areas, and riparian habitats.
Koalas are pure herbivores. Much of their diet consists of eucalyptus leaves. They will consume as much as 600 species of eucalyptus. Koalas prefer to eat Eucalyptus microcorys, and E. tereticornis but they also feed on Allocasuarina, Callitris, and Leptospermum.
Koalas are pretty lazy animals in that they sleep 20 hours a day. By so doing they conserve as much energy as they possibly can.
They are highly social animals. Koalas will spend 15 – 20 minutes each day on social behavior. Adult males are territorial.
Koalas always get hold of tree branches with their sharp claws. They rarely fall on the ground but when they do the injuries can occur.
They don’t drink much for they can get the required quantity of water from the eucalyptus leaves.
They communicate via producing loud bellows and growl-like sounds. Unlike adults, young koalas produce squeak sounds when they are threatened.
While they look innocent koalas can growl or even bite if not handled properly.
The breeding season occurs from October to May. The female rarely gives birth to twins after a gestation period of 33 – 35 days. The baby koalas are called joeys. Joeys weigh only 0.5 gram at birth. Females reach maturity at 3 years age.
Koalas live as long as 13 – 18 years in the wild. The average lifespan however is less than 15 years.
Koalas have quite a few predators in the wild. The predators include pythons, dingoes, birds of prey, wedged-tailed eagle, and owls.
The koala population is Vulnerable.