Origin of name:
Shaz is just such an Aussie name!
We first saw Shaz in November 2015. She looked very young, maybe just 2 years old.
How often seen:
Shaz was only seen once in 2015, twice in 2016, not at all in 2017. In 2018 she was seen just two times. But already in 2019 she has been seen four times!
We have no idea. She has not been seen with a joey yet, or in close proximity with other females.
Some koalas live just outside our research area, and are seen very rarely, but always in the same area. Others seem to travel around, popping up here and there, perhaps looking for a suitable, unoccupied home range. We’re not sure yet which of these she is – the locations she’s been seen in are all within a 1000m arc of her original location, so she might be just modifying her home range over time.
Survived extreme heat/drought catastrophes:
Shaz has survived the following extreme heat waves and droughts.
2014: 14 to 17 January (4 days over 40C, the last at max 46C)
2019: 4 January max temp: 46C
2019: 25 January max temp: 46C
How do we have so much research data about Shaz?
Echidna Walkabout’s Wild Koala Research Project has been monitoring the koalas of the You Yangs and Brisbane Ranges for 21 years. In 1998 we discovered a non-intrusive method of identifying koalas by their natural nose markings (nose patterns). Since then we have been collecting koala research data during tours, and using it to advocate for koalas, plant trees where they are most needed, and remove weeds to improve koala habitat.
Koala Researchers employed by Echidna Walkabout are paid to find koalas and collect information +/- 310 days every year.
All our tour guests play an important part in this research, by making it possible through funding, and by looking out for koalas on our tours.