A young koala sitting in a tree


Koalas are nocturnal marsupials famous for spending most of their lives asleep in trees. This sedentary lifestyle can be attributed to the fact they have unusually small brains and survive on a diet of nutrient-poor leaves. The koala's leaf of choice is eucalyptus, a particularly fibrous and highly toxic plant. Luckily for koalas, what they lack in brain power they make up for in the length of their intestine, which measures a colossal two metres and is packed with super micro-organisms that detoxify the leaves.

Scientific name: Phascolarctos cinereus

Rank: Species

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Map showing the distribution of the Koala taxa

Species range provided by WWF's Wildfinder.


The following habitats are found across the Koala distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

Conservation Status

Least Concern

  1. EX - Extinct
  2. EW
  3. CR - Threatened
  4. EN - Threatened
  5. VU - Threatened
  6. NT
  7. LC - Least concern

Population trend: Unknown

Year assessed: 2008

Classified by: IUCN 3.1


  1. Life
  2. Animals
  3. Vertebrates
  4. Mammals
  5. Kangaroos, possums and wallabies
  6. Phascolarctidae
  7. Phascolarctos
  8. Koala

BBC News about Koala

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