Zoology

The Diet and Behavior of Koalas



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Have you ever seen a koala bear in the zoo or in the wild? If you live in Australia, chances are you have seen one in the "bush" (Columbia Encyclopedia, 2007) or forest. They are called the "Australian bear" Columbia Encyclopedia, 2007), because they are primarily found in the forest of Australia. Basically, you will find them hanging out in a tree and eating the branches from it. Most Koalas love the "eucalyptus tree" (Columbia Encyclopedia, 2007), since it has special nutrients that are essential to a koala's daily diet.

The "koala's habitat" (TheKoalas, 2007) varies; however they prefer to live in some type of forest. They can even be found in sub-tropical forest of Australia. This nocturnal marsupial prefers moving at night and sleeping during the day. They enjoy eating many types of leaves, which gives them the nourishment that they need daily. Koalas are very social with other koalas, but they become aggressive when provoked or threatened by a predator.

They will fight for their personal territory, even if they are challenged by their relative. Most scientists believe that koalas use a "series of soft grunts" and other "noises to communicate" (TheKoalas, 2007). Sometimes, they will "make loud sounds", especially during their "mating season" (TheKoalas, 2007). This is the way, that they can attract an eligible suitor and start their own family. Their young are born and transported in a "pouch", until they are "six months old" (Columbia Encyclopedia, 2007).

Their babies are called "joeys" and they drink milk from inside the pouch, just like a kangaroo. Most newborns are an average length of "2 centimeters long" and they weight an average of "1 gram" (TheKoalas, 2007) at birth. Usually, they will hitch a "ride" on their "mom's back", when they get old enough to "leave the pouch" (TheKoalas, 2007). Many "young koalas" are choosing to "stay with their mother" (TheKoalas, 2007), instead of finding a home in their bush.

Unfortunately, there are "less numbers of koalas" that are found in the "wild", because of clearing entire forest" (TheKoalas, 2007). The numbers of koalas are being impacted, by "diseases" and "other threats" (TheKoalas, 2007). Now, many "wildlife organizations" (TheKoalas, 2007) are trying to keep the koalas alive and their numbers growing. However, everyone must help or we will not be able to find them in the Australian Bush.

If they become extinct, our future generations will only be able to see them in a zoo or an encyclopedia. Basically, each koala must be protected from human progress or we will lose a precious Aussie Icon. They are an important part of the "ecosystem", which helps it stay "balanced" and evolving over time. But, koalas have many natural predators: like "foxes", "large feral cats", "dingoes" or "powerful owls" (TheKoalas, 2007).

A "majority of koalas" are found on "the eastern seaboard", due to the fertile lands and abundant food supply. So far, human has slowly become a "threat" (TheKoalas, 2007) to the koala's existence, because they are losing their habitat to us. Everyone can help save wildlife; by making recycling, reusing, and reducing their own personal waste. Therefore, we can lessen the impact, which we have on the koala's habitat and future existence.



References:

Columbia Encyclopedia(2007) Encyclopedia: koala
Retrieved on the World Wide Web on September 10, 2007
http://education.yahoo.com/reference/encyclopedia/entry?id=26257

TheKoalas (2007) Information on Koalas
Retrieved on the World Wide Web on September 10, 2007
http://www.thekoala.com/koala/

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