planting the future

Koala Sightings In Our Local Area

Around Australia, koalas make different home ranges depending on their population, food source and habitat. The average home range for a male is around a couple of hectares, but this ranges right up to over 100 hectares in the semi-arid regions of central Queensland.

Koalas which are listed as a threatened species had not been seen in the Blue Mountains since the early 70’s when in September 1998 a young male koala was found sitting in a Jacaranda tree at Lapstone in the lower Mountains.

Breeding season for koalas is between September and February and it is a time when the males are quite vocal. A good time to listen out for these animals as they have quite a distinctive call.

People are warned to stay clear of any koala as if cornered they may bite or scratch. The best thing to do is to take as many photos as possible and try to determine whether it’s a male or female. If the koala has a brown stain on the chest it is a male. This stain comes from a scent gland which they use to mark their territory. If possible collect their dropping because these can be analyzed to ascertain the type of vegetation they have been eating and DNA can be obtained from scats, There is a misconception that koalas eat only eucalyptus leaves. This is true for the majority of the time, but both wild and captive koalas are capable of eating alternative plant species. We’re not sure of the reasons, but speculate that it is due to health, accessibility of food, food shortage, lack of water in food sources and soil conditions.

There been regular reports of koalas sited sitting, sleeping and eating in non- eucalyptus trees. Working with koalas I witnessed some eating display trees and bark and it isn’t uncommon for some wildlife parks to give koalas in captivity the option to eat fresh soil in a bowl as well as water. This method helps keepers to observe certain behaviour, and asses their fitness and health patterns and whether there is a mineral deficiency or any internal problems, which may be hard to see when doing an external examination.
Koala Retreat have started three small tree planting projects using three different soil textures, to try to improve the health of koalas in captivity as well as sick injured koalas from the wild. The aim is to incorporate these captivity management techniques into koala conservation strategies to maintain the animals’ mental stimulation which in turn enhances physical activities.

If your would like to view a map that we have been plotting Koala sightings you can do so here.

Anyone who see a koala, is best to leave the koala alone, but you can take photos from your mobile photo which we would love to receive, please contact us so we can monitor their movements around the Penrith, Richmond and Blue Mountain area. 

If the Koala looks sick or injured it is best to ring Wires on 1300 094 737

To report koala sightings please call your local NSW National Parks Richmond 02 4588 5247.