¿Where do Koalas live?
Other than zoos around the world, the only place where you will find the Koala living is in Australia. They span quite a bit of habitat in this area, but with only about 80,000 of them remaining there isn’t nearly as many of them as there were just five years ago. Areas around Australia where you will find the Koalas include New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, and the Southern part of Australia.
They are also found in the islands off of the coast of Victoria. You will often only find them in the trees but they do climb down to find food when they need to. They also climb down the trees in order to move to other trees to climb up. You will find large groups of Koalas around each other in the trees. However, they tend to isolate themselves from each other most of the time.
Around the outer edges of a group of Koalas you will find young males. They are waiting there with the hopes of one day being added as a permanent member of the group. Females are almost always readily accepted by the males due to the breeding efforts that will take place with them. However, they often try to avoid letting more males in due to the risk of the competition.
However, more than 80% of the land where the Koala used to freely roam has already been destroyed. A great deal of what remains is owned privately and those individuals are often eager to clear the trees so that they can use it for farming. Making a living for themselves is more important than what they will be doing to conserve the Koala.
In some areas though the harsh climate changes have led to drought conditions. In such areas the eucalyptus trees don’t offer the leaves for the Koalas to consume. As a result they may have to move further and further from such locations. It isn’t possible for them to travel long distances though due to the lack of energy they get from their food sources.
It seems that Koalas born in captivity do very well, and efforts have been made through such programs to increase their numbers. At the same time the goal is to find ways to better understand them. There remains so much that we don’t really know about these types of animals. Perhaps if we can fill in the blanks we will have a chance to help them thrive instead of being at risk of becoming extinct.
Most agree that Koalas are low maintenance when it comes to them being in captivity. They don’t have high levels of aggression and they are less expensive to feed than most other animals. The food for them does have to be imported though from Australia. Still, they eat small amounts. These animals are also prime attractions so by having them on display it increases the number of annual visitors to any particular zoo environment.
One of the biggest things to watch for with Koalas in captivity is when they start to exhibit high levels of stress. This can occur when the dynamics of the group have changed. It can also occur for females before mating or before giving birth. When they experience stress though they may not eat enough. Watching for signs of weight loss and disease are also important when the Koalas are living in this type of controlled habitat.
To help protect them against disease, those in captivity do get vaccinations. They are also given a dewormer annually. This is why the average life span in captivity is longer than a Koala living in the wild.