The cute iconic Australian nappers at risk after government fails to protect its home

Angelo Giordano

Down-listed to status Vulnerable on 12 February 2022, this arboreal folivorous cuddly, fuzzy mammal with a pouch for its offspring is one of the world’s most diversified animals. Koala has one of the most miniature brains compared to the body weight of any mammal, as the brain is less than 0.2% of their total body mass.

Due to its specialized diet, which consists primarily of Eucalyptus species’ foliage, this native Australian inhabits forests and woodlands predominated by eucalyptus species.

However, they are no longer as common throughout Australia as they once were; now, patchy populations are in the east.

Millions of koalas were murdered for their fur in Victoria, New South Wales, and Queensland during the late 19th-early 20th century. Despite threats like disease (specifically Chlamydia), bushfires, and extensive habitat damage occurring for more than a century, there is no national recovery strategy for their conservation.


Population est.
Official estimate

Recent updates

  • 2023: The NSW Government’s NSW Koala Strategy has enabled MidCoast Council to obtain over $1 million in funding. This partnership has allowed the Council to bolster its Koala Safe Spaces Program. The program will start by investigating the local koala population, assessing their well-being, and locating their habitats.
  • March 2023: Despite the listing of koalas as endangered across New South Wales, Queensland, and the Australian Capital Territory in 2022, Gold Coast koala rescuers have sadly accepted that their tireless efforts may be in vain, with the marsupials predicted to become extinct in the region well before 2050.
  • Feb 2023: The Australian Wildlife Conservancy (AWC) has been granted $179,211 from the federal government to support a three-phase Koala conservation effort at Curramore and Mount Zero-Taravale Wildlife Sanctuaries in Queensland.

Did you know?

  • They look like bears, but they are not bears. They are marsupials with babies carrying pouches.
  • Since the eucalyptus is toxic, the digestive system of the koala must work hard.
  • Toxins are broken down, and limited nutrients are extracted.
  • Babies eat their mother’s poop, so that gut bacteria get transferred to their stomachs, which helps them in dealing with their eucalyptus diet.
  • Koalas nap for around 20-22 hours per day; thus, their spines are naturally arched/curved.
  • Since European settlement, the total distribution of koalas has decreased. Recent developments and modifications make them vulnerable to predation by dogs, vehicle strikes, and loss of trees.
  • A national conservation and management strategy meant for conservation was found to be largely ineffective.

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Terrestrial / Aquatic

Altricial / Precocial

Polygamous / Monogamous

Dimorphic (size) / Monomorphic

Active: Diurnal / Nocturnal

Social behavior: Solitary / Pack / Herd

Diet: Carnivore / Herbivore / Omnivore / Piscivorous / Insectivore

Migratory: Yes / No

Domesticated: Yes / No

Dangerous: Yes / No