What happens to koalas when their habitat is damaged?

Imagine coming home to find that a bulldozer had knocked your house down,as well as most of the houses in your neighbourhood.

I hope we don't lose the Koalas like we lost the Tasmanian Tigers, because they are so special." Emily (12)

How would you feel when you arrived home to find your house was gone and you didn’t recognise anything in your street any more? You would feel upset, angry, worried, confused and depressed. Then imagine how you would feel if you couldn’t get to a shop to buy any food. You would begin to get very hungry. What if you couldn’t find somewhere to sleep and rest? Before long you would be tired as well as hungry, and you might also get sick. How long do you think you could survive without food or shelter?

Koalas experience feelings like these when their trees are cleared to make way for a new road or housing estate, for example. If they do manage to survive the clearing, finding somewhere new to live may be difficult, too.

While Koalas are on the ground, they are at great risk from cars and dogs. They may need to cross busy roads to find food trees, and they may get hit by cars. They may also fall into swimming pools and drown because they are unable to climb out. Unless they have a safe area of undisturbed habitat where they can move to and where there aren’t already any Koalas living, they are very likely to be killed or get sick and die.

Disease in Koalas

The main disease Koalas suffer from is chlamydia. Chlamydia is an organism which lives in the bodies of most healthy Koalas. Chlamydia does not usually make the Koalas sick until they get stressed. Then they may get sore eyes and go blind, or get an infection in their chests, or they may get a sore throat, which makes it very difficult for them to eat. The females may not be able to have babies when they are sick. Koalas also suffer from leukaemia and other cancers.

"I hope we don't lose the Koalas like we lost the Tasmanian Tigers, because they are so special." Emily (12)