Koala facts

Common name: Koala
Scientific name: Phascolarctos cinereus
Population: Declining
Endangered status: Endangered (QLD, NSW, ACT)

Photo: Doug Gimesy

Is the koala endangered?

  • The koala populations of Queensland, New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory were listed as endangered in February 2022.  

Where does the koala live?

  • The koala is only found in Australia and lives in a range of habitats from north-eastern Queensland through New South Wales, the ACT and Victoria to the southern end of South Australia. 
  • The vulnerable populations of koala have been identified between north-eastern Queensland and the Victoria and NSW border.
  • Koalas live in forest and woodland regions which have ‘food trees’ that are specific Eucalyptus species, as well as shelter trees that provide safe habitats.

What threatens the koala?

  • Habitat destruction remains the biggest danger to koalas, through logging, suburban sprawl and bushfires.
  • They are also vulnerable to being attacked by dogs and hit by cars.
  • Many koalas carry the Chlamydia disease which can cause reduced fertility among females.
  • Climate change also threatens koalas, with increased temperatures, rainfall variation and more droughts diminishing the availability of quality food supply and increasing the risk of bushfires.

What does the koala look like?

  • Koalas are iconic Australian animals, sometimes called ‘bears’ for their bear-like appearance. They actually have little in common with bears and are most closely related to wombats.
  • Koalas are known for their grey fur, large, round, furry ears and stout build. 
  • Males are generally bigger than females and koalas change in size and appearance as you travel from the south to the north of the continent: Southern koalas weigh more and have thicker fur in the south and are lighter in weight and fur coarseness in the north.

Photo: Doug Gimesy

The koala is missing in the wild

We can’t imagine an Australia without the koala.

But koalas are missing in the wild. Because our leaders are missing in action.

That’s why we’re pushing for stronger laws to better protect them and all of Australia’s incredible wildlife.

We demand strong environment laws that will save our iconic wildlife.

We need laws that actually protect nature, including strong outcome-focused environmental standards and an independent regulator to oversee decision-making.

Speak up for the koala

Add your voice to the petition to the federal government, asking our elected representatives to support ambitious global goals for nature to halt and reverse biodiversity loss and achieve a Nature Positive world by 2030 — and invite your friends to raise their voice to nature too. 

Australia must work with other nations to deliver ambitious global goals for nature to halt and reverse biodiversity destruction and set us on a path to a nature-positive world. 

Read more

Trading habitat for a harbour: The future of Toondah Harbour's koalas


Header: Holger Detje