The koala is one of the world’s most iconic animal species – right up there with the panda, , , dolphin, and polar bear. And they're found nowhere else in the world but Australia!
Our much loved koalas, with their stout, tailless body, large head with round, fluffy ears and large, spoon-shaped nose, are instantly recognisable as a symbol of Australia. Koalas are an integral part of the Australian bush – perched high up in the branches of gum trees sleeping for up to 20 hours a day.
A common mistake is calling them a ‘koala bear,’ they’re marsupials not bears. Find out more . Sadly, being iconic and symbolic is not enough to save the koala from the threat of extinction. In the 1920’s, hundreds of thousands of koalas were shot for the fur trade and now koalas are contending with the consequences of ongoing excessive for agricultural and urban development in Queensland and New South Wales. But there is much we can do to and the many other species that inhabit the Australian bush.
The koala is the quintessential Australian animal, known globally and much loved. People come from all over the world to see koalas at wildlife parks and zoos. It is featured in advertisements, games, cartoons, and as soft toys. In the wild, koalas serve as ambassadors for the many other species that also inhabit the Australian bush. Protecting bushland areas in an effort to save koala populations also protects the habitat of a wide range of animal and plant species such as possums, gliders, wombats, quolls, birds, and reptiles. Koalas also have great cultural significance to Aboriginal Australians and feature in Dreamtime stories, songs, and rock art.