Origin of name:
Winjku means freshwater in the Kunwinjku language of western Arnhem Land & Kakadu. Read more here: https://www.njamed.com/
When Winjku emerged, the You Yangs was experiencing record drought-breaking rainfall. Janine & Roger were in the Top End at the time, listening to the exciting reports of rain and baby koalas.
She emerged on or before 14 June 2019. So her birthday would be around 14 December 2018.
How often seen:
In her first year of life she was seen 63 times by our researchers. That make her one of our most frequently seen joeys ever.
Winjku is Ngardang’s fourth joey. Big brother Wurdi was born in 2016; sister Lakorra in 2017; and brother Bunyip in 2018. As far as we know, Winjku is Ngardang’s first joey with Gulkurguli, the new dominant male in the area.
Gulkurguli is also father to Mimi, KiKi’s son – so he is Winjku’s half brother.
At the moment, her neighbours are her mother’s: her big sister Lakorra, KiKi and her offspring LuLu & Mimi, her father Gulkurguli. Nearby are Wemba, Yeera, Kozo and Winberry.
As a dependent joey Winjku was curious, she would look at our Koala Researchers and Wildlife Guides a lot. She was a real cuddler – she didn’t leave Ngardang’s embrace until she was 11 months old. But when she did leave, she was off exploring on her own, quite boldly. Little Miss Self-possessed, she always looked quite in control. She made a few brief returns to her mum in early December 2019, but then struck out and hasn’t been seen near her mother since Christmas 2019.
Survived extreme heat/drought catastrophes:
Winjku has survived the following extreme heat waves and droughts.
2019: 4 January max temp: 46C – she would have been in the pouch at this time.
2019: 25 January max temp: 46C
2019: 20 December max temp: 46C
2019: 30 December max temp: 44C
How do we know so much about Winjku?
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. Echidna Walkabout is also the major supporter of Wild Koala Day on May 3 every year #wildkoaladay