How can I tell male and female koalas apart?

Males are generally larger than females and have a broader head with larger ears, the male will call by loud bellowing (females do softer squeals), has a scent gland on their chest which may be stained from secretions, and are less fluffy than females.

You can see more comparisons and images of each species in our downloadable fact sheet How to tell the sex of a koala.

How do you know if a koala is sick or injured and who do you call in the Clarence to seek assistance?

Injury in koalas is not always easy to identify. If attacked by dogs or other animals, or are hit by cars, they may sustain internal injuries that result in death. If you believe a koala has been impacted by a vehicle or attack, it is best to seek assistance from a wildlife carer.

Chlamydia, a sexually transmitted infection, is common in koalas and causes:

- blindness (conjunctivitis); visible sign of clouded or pink and swollen eyes, sometimes discharge. If they are completely blind, then this symptom may manifest in behavioural changes such as no fear response to the presence of humans, an inability to navigate climbing a tree, a tendency to stand on the ground rather than seeking height, and slower than usual movement.

- urinary tract infections; visible as a brown discolouration on the bottom, also known as wet bottom

- infertility (reproductive system infections)

- pneumonia

- death

If caught early and treated, the koala can make a full recovery.

There are a range of other reasons a koala may be sick, and these may manifest in sluggishness or change in behaviour. If you are unsure, you can seek advice from a trained professional.

For more information, read the Symptoms and Signs of Illness in Koalas news item.

Call Wildlife Rescue 1300 094 737 (WIRES) or go online:

Experienced, trained handlers will advise what should be done to assist the koala.

What are the favoured food trees of Clarence koalas?

Grey box (Eucalyptus moluccana)

Tallowwood (Eucalytus microcorys)

Forest red gum (Eucalyptus tereticornis)

Swamp mahogany (Eucalyptus rubusta)

Small-fruited Grey gum (Eucalyptus propinqua)

How can I access koala food trees for planting?

Trees are available from the Minnie Water-Sandon Nursery, and Maclean Community Nursery, among others. You can view the full list of nurseries here: https://www.clarence.nsw.gov.au/page.asp?f=RES-RQK-65-27-00 . The nurseries don't always have koala food trees available due to the difficulty in obtaining seed. Contact the nurseries for more information on what they have available.

Why should I register a koala sighting?

Knowing where koalas are located in our landscape helps us to conserve the species. Data collection enables us to learn about why koalas prefer a particular habitat, why certain habitats contain more species than other similar habitats, and why koalas are declining from particular areas. By understanding their distribution, we can determine the conservation value of regional zones and further develop management guidelines for natural resources.

How can I get an accurate location or GPS point for a sighting?

Location and time and the most important pieces of information for us when it comes to your data and using it to direct management decisions within council and state government. Help us out if you can and use an App on your phone when taking photos.

IPhone: Context Camera is available on the Apple iStore and can be used to record the latitude/longitude as decimal values inset on a photo, as well as a date/time stamp - two very handy bits of information!

Android: GPS Map Camera is available on the Google Play Store and can be used to record the latitude/longitude as decimal values inset on a photo, as well as a time stamp - two very handy bits of information! Once opening the App, click on the second icon from the top left, scroll to half way down the list and select Map + Lat/Long. This will provide us with a visual and numerical representation of location as well as a date/time stamp!

What if I can't see a koala?

Evidence of Koala activity includes actual sightings, hearing koala bellows, scats beneath a tree, or scratch marks on the trunk of trees.

Why are koala populations declining?

Koalas are exposed to a number of threats in developed areas, including:

·  Vehicle strike

·  Dog attack

·  Loss of food and habitat

·  Unmanaged fire

·  Swimming pools

·  Impermeable fences

Land clearance is recognised as the major threat to koalas due to the loss of food trees. When their habitat becomes fragmented, koalas have to move greater distances between trees, making them more vulnerable to vehicle strikes and dog attacks.

Habitat fragmentation or disturbance can also lead to overcrowding and increased competition. Koalas then become stressed, which may lead to health problems. Koalas that are weakened by disease are more vulnerable to dog attack.

How can I learn more about koalas in the Clarence?

Visit the Koalas in the Clarence page on the Clarence Valley Council website to learn more about our furry friends.