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8 million

the number of koalas killed for their coats between 1888 and 1927

Koala up a eucalyptus tree, looking over her shoulder

 

 

Mysterious Icons

Once hunted for their fur, koala populations dramatically dropped to fewer than 300,000. Today, koalas face new threats. They’re hit by cars, attacked by dogs, and suffer from a disease that has spread through most of the population. Adding to the crisis, brushfires are forcing the vanishing koala from its forest home. Although these brutal fires take a toll on koalas, they also give scientists a chance to observe and document them up close. We still have a lot to learn about these cuddly-looking marsupials. San Diego Zoo Global is working in Australia to study koalas in the wild, because knowing more about their migratory paths, genetic diversity, and reproductive behaviors will help us save them.

 

 

A mother koala crosses an asphalt road with her baby joey clinging to her back. A road sign warns vehicle drivers to keep an eye out for koalas on the next 4 km stretch of road.

Koalas face habitat loss and other dangers due to the urbanization of once rural and wild areas.

300

koalas killed by cars every year, in just one area of Australia

Vanishing Forests, Vanishing Homes

Koalas rely on eucalyptus as their sole source of food and shelter. The leafy trees provide shade, and keep koalas fed and off the ground away from predators. But being dependent in this way is risky business because if eucalyptus disappears, koalas will too. Habitat encroachment and climate change threaten koalas and their forest homes.

Koala holding onto foot of joey in her pouch as she sits in a eucalyptus tree on St. Bees Island, Australia

Together, we can
turn things around.

96%

percentage of the total koala population killed in the last 100 years 

Researcher releasing koala back to her tree with radio tracking collar and i.d. tag.

 

 

A Global Community

Our teams of conservationists and partners work down under to track and study these adorable animals in their native habitats. We also use what we’ve learned from the animals in our care to help wild populations. In fact, San Diego Zoo Global has the most successful breeding program and the largest colony of koalas outside of Australia. These efforts have helped us protect and save these national treasures and their habitat in the wild.

 

 

Researcher gingerly readies adult koala for exam in the wild. Baby koala joey held in warm cloth pouch by a researcher. Adult koala climbing up tree with new tracking color on.

San Diego Zoo Global researchers hold a young joey in a warm blanket while its mother receives a wellness check and a tracking collar that will help inform koala conservation efforts.

18-22

hours a day koalas sleep, usually up in trees

We can't imagine a world without koalas. And with your support to the San Diego Zoo Global Wildlife Conservancy, we'll continue these lifesaving efforts to ensure that koalas can make a mighty comeback. We need your help today

mother koala with baby riding piggy-back as she sits on a low branch.