A global community of nature enthusiasts
photographing and learning about wildlife
Mother & baby rest in the fork of a Grey Gum bathed in the afternoon sun of winter. Australia's iconic species, the Koala is a tree climbing marsupial closely related to the wombat another Australian specialty. Adults can grow to more than 80cm in length, this female is quite small at about 60cm. Babies (joeys) are born as tiny hairless underdeveloped creatures that crawl upwards into the mother's pouch where they remain until fully furred and able to cling to the mother securely (this baby is at that stage). Babies suckle milk from the mother and eventually become independent at around 12 months of age. Adult Koalas exclusively eat only the leaves of a wide variety of eucalypt tree species, although they have been observed eating leaves of other trees. They do drink water in extreme dry weather.
Found throughout much of eastern Australia with population differences in the various ranges giving rise to thoughts that there are several sub species. The Koala is listed as vulnerable to extinction in most of its range.
It is a constant battle to ensure the safety of this pair and others as 'thrill' shooters are active in the area.