Do koalas have a future in the wild? We think they do.
In the You Yangs near Melbourne, a population of healthy wild koalas have been monitored for 14 years by Echidna Walkabout & Koala Clancy Foundation. The population is declining, but that is not because of the koalas – it is because the trees are becoming too dry and their habitat is shrinking. The koalas are very healthy and are breeding well.
This population has not been affected by bushfires.
Nearby, local community volunteers and some very special international travellers on Echidna Walkabout’s Koala Recovery Experience, plant trees beside rivers and creeks to provide habitat for these healthy young koalas. As the koala trees grow, koalas will find their way into a moisture-rich new habitat, planted by Koala Clancy Foundation, that will protect them from rising temperatures and climate change.
Watch how their habitat is shrinking due to climate change, and see the trees we are planting to replace lost habitat.
Targeted action taken soon will save koalas and ensure that these wild koalas have a future.
Six wild koala joeys were born in the You Yangs population in 2019. Meet the wild koalas of the future that we are working to save.
This tiny darling was the last joey that appeared, and she came as a bit of a surprise. Her mother Wemba is a good mother, and has produced three babies in the last three years, but when we hadn’t seen her by October we were concerned for her welfare.
Suddenly Wemba appeared in mid October with tiny Yeera in tow.
Yeera might have been a late starter, but she’s quickly stolen the hearts of many. Watch this delightful video of her and little boy Mimi, compiled by one of our local volunteers on a Koala Conservation Day:
We think Yeera’s father is handsome new dominant male Mabo.
Sweet Winjku was the first joey to emerge this year, and she’s the one we’ve seen the most often. Winjku is the second daughter of Ngardang and her fourth joey overall.
Unlike her neighbour Mimi, Winjku took her time becoming independent. She preferred cuddling with her mum to taking bold journeys on her own. But now she is off exploring the world, and doing so very confidently.
Winjku’s father is almost certainly Gulkurguli.
Indi is the shyest of our 2019 koala joeys. She has only been seen a few times since she emerged in July.
She is Kozo’s first joey. Kozo is also quite shy, so its not surprising that she has kept her first baby safe and quiet.
Mimi is bold and adventurous. Within a month of emergence he was climbing around by himself, investigating leaves, trying out new branches. He’s just full of life, just like his mum KiKi.
Mimi is the third joey of amazing mother KiKi, who had Kozo in 2017 and LuLu in 2018. He is her first male joey.
He first appeared in late July, just a week after his niece Indi.
Mimi’s father is also Gulkurguli, so he is Winjku’s half-brother.
Karrborr is a little miracle baby. He is Babarrang’s fifth wild joey. Babarrang is an amazing mother, but she is nearly 10 years old now so Karrborr might be her last offspring.
Lovely Yarra emerged in August 2019, was seen several times through spring, and then YuYu took her off to a hidden location. We don’t know all of YuYu’s home range (she is a great traveller) and she frequently disappears like this. Koala home ranges are larger and more complex than many think.
Yarra is the first joey (that we know) of Zack, who has taken over from Anzac as dominant male.
All Echidna Walkabout tours and tour guests support the future of these wild koalas – through the following conservation actions:
- All tour guests on Great Ocean Road 3 day, Sunset Koalas & Kangaroos evening tour, Koalas & Kangaroo IN THE WILD day tour remove invasive weeds to make new habitat available to koalas.
- Tour guests also contribute to research by finding wild koalas on tours, and often providing photographs & video.
- Echidna Walkabout tours fund the research that provides the knowledge of the koala population and their needs
- Echidna Walkabout is the major donor and supporter of not for profit tree planting organisation Koala Clancy Foundation. In 2018-2019 financial year Echidna Walkabout donated over AUD$45,000 to Koala Clancy Foundation.
- Sales of Koala Clancy of the You Yangs books fund tree planting
- Every Echidna Walkabout tour has a built-in donation to tree planting
- Additional donations to Koala Clancy Foundation are also encouraged from Echidna Walkabout tour guests. Donate here.
- Echidna Walkabout provides information and advice to koala tree planting projects all over Australia and petitions government for better protection of koala habitat.
- Echidna Walkabout is working with scientists to add to knowledge of koala population decline and koala behaviour.
- Janine Duffy, co-owner of Echidna Walkabout, volunteers several days per week to koala conservation projects. She recently organised and hosted a meeting of Australia’s top koala scientists, NGOs and tree planting groups; and is working on educating community groups, and working with media on behalf of koalas.
By joining any Echidna Walkabout tour you are helping koalas to have a future in the wild.