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Koalas Officially Recognised as Endangered

Posted by Abeni Carvalho on

The koala is one of the world’s most iconic species, and they're found nowhere else in the world but Australia!
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. 
Here are some fun koala facts!
1. Koalas aren’t bears – they’re marsupials!
A common mistake is calling them a ‘koala bear,’ they’re marsupials not bears! You might hear the term ‘koala bear’ being tossed around when it comes to these fluffy animals. While they might look bear-like with their round ears and big black nose, they actually share more characteristics with other marsupials like the wombat.
2. Baby koalas are too cute!
Called ‘joeys’, baby koalas develop in their mother’s pouch for about six months. After this time, they’ll ride on their mum’s back for another six months, only using the pouch to feed and sleep!
3. They’re fussy eaters! 
Koalas survive on a diet of eucalyptus leaves and can eat up to a kilogram a day! Pretty impressive, considering eucalyptus is poisonous to most animals.Their special fibre digesting organ, called a caecum, helps to detoxify the chemicals in the leaves.
However, they can be quite picky eaters, eating less than 50 of over 700 eucalypt species. Even then, they’ll often choose leaves at the top of the tallest trees that contain more liquid and nutrients – only the best for Australia’s koalas!
4. Koala’ is thought to mean ‘no drink’ in the Australian Aboriginal language
It was thought that koalas didn’t need to drink because of the moisture they get from munching on juicy eucalyptus leaves all day. However, they do drink from various water sources when needed, especially during heatwaves and in times of drought.
5. Koalas can sleep up to 18 hours a day
Despite the rumours, koalas don’t ‘get high’ or ‘drugged out’ on eucalyptus leaves. It’s because the leaves are so low in nutrients that koalas need more sleep than most animals which basically helps them conserve energy.
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 tree-clearing and catastrophic bush fires. 
For the first time ever, the Australian government has officially listed the koala as endangered. For every Koala print product purchased we will donate 5% to WWF’s Koalas Forever Appeal 
Click here for more info!

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