Phascolarctos cinereus (PHASCOLARCTIDAE) Koala


Koalas Phascolarctos cinereus are rarely seen as they are nocturnal, sedentary and well camouflaged. However, they are sometimes spotted in Enoggera catchment in areas adjoining Mount Coot-tha Reserve. The Reserve contains more than 1500 hectares of natural bushland, so it has plenty of good grazing territory for koalas. Body length is 90 cm and weight 6 kg. They have grey fur with a white chest and no tail. Koalas live almost entirely on eucalypt leaves but will also browse on Spotted Gum and Paperbark leaves. This is likely to be an evolutionary adaptation that takes advantage of an otherwise unfilled ecological niche, since eucalypt leaves are low in protein, high in indigestible substances, and contain phenolic and terpene compounds that are toxic to most species.