How koalas use the bushland

PROJECT TIP
When presenting your koala project to your class, dress up as a koala! Make a black nose and koala ears from an egg carton, or make a koala mask to wear.

Most of us like to live together in a house with other members of our family. Koalas live in families too, but instead of living in one house, Koala families live in an area of forest. The trees are the Koalas bedrooms, kitchens, dining rooms, bathrooms, living rooms and back yards. Each Koala has its own private territory called a home range. Apart from mothers with joeys, they prefer to spend most of their time alone, although they do like to have other Koalas living nearby.

Each Koala’s home range is made up of quite a number of different trees called home trees. They visit these same trees regularly. The area covered by these trees is the Koala’s home range. Each Koala’s home range overlaps the home ranges of other Koalas.

The male Koala rubs his scent gland on his home trees to mark them so that other Koalas know that this is his territory. Although she doesn’t have a scent gland, it is thought that females also scent mark their trees in some way.

If the home range trees are removed, the Koalas lose both food and shelter and a place to breed. Because other Koalas live in the trees next door, a Koala cannot just move next door if its trees are destroyed, as next door may already belong to another Koala. Also if a road or house is placed between the trees in a Koala’s home range, the Koala may not be able to get to its trees or it may get run over on the road. It may also be at risk of attack from dogs.

Thousands of Koalas are killed each year on our roads and by dogs.

"Our beautiful Koalas can't live without their gumtrees." Samantha (7)