Koala, Känguru & Co (German Edition)
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It has been featured in advertisements, games, cartoons, and as soft toys. The koala is featured in the Dreamtime stories and mythology of indigenous Australians. The Tharawal people believed that the animal helped row the boat that brought them to the continent. This narrative highlights the koala's status as a game animal and the length of its intestines. In one, a kangaroo cuts it off to punish the koala for being lazy and greedy. Bidjara -speaking people credited the koala for turning barren lands into lush forests.
Early European settlers in Australia considered the koala to be a prowling sloth -like animal with a "fierce and menacing look".
Created by Dorothy Wall in , the character appeared in several books and has been the subject of films, TV series, merchandise, and a environmental song by John Williamson. Food products shaped like the koala include the Caramello Koala chocolate bar and the bite-sized cookie snack Koala's March.
Dadswells Bridge in Victoria features a tourist complex shaped like a giant koala,  and the Queensland Reds rugby team has a koala as its mascot. The drop bear is an imaginary creature in contemporary Australian folklore featuring a predatory, carnivorous version of the koala. This hoax animal is commonly spoken about in tall tales designed to scare tourists. While koalas are typically docile herbivores, drop bears are described as unusually large and vicious marsupials that inhabit treetops and attack unsuspecting people or other prey that walk beneath them by dropping onto their heads from above.
While the koala was previously classified as Least Concern on the Red List , it was uplisted to Vulnerable in Koalas were hunted for food by Aboriginals. A common technique used to capture the animals was to attach a loop of ropey bark to the end of a long, thin pole, so as to form a noose.
Australia's Kangaroo Island is home to more than 60,000 marsupials
This would be used to snare an animal high in a tree, beyond the reach of a climbing hunter; an animal brought down this way would then be killed with a stone hand axe or hunting stick waddy. The koala was heavily hunted by European settlers in the early 20th century,  largely for its thick, soft fur. More than two million pelts are estimated to have left Australia by Pelts were in demand for use in rugs, coat linings, muffs , and as trimming on women's garments.
The public outcry over these cullings was probably the first wide-scale environmental issue that rallied Australians. Novelist and social critic Vance Palmer , writing in a letter to The Courier-Mail , expressed the popular sentiment:. No one has ever accused him of spoiling the farmer's wheat, eating the squatter's grass, or even the spreading of the prickly pear.
There is no social vice that can be put down to his account He affords no sport to the gun-man And he has been almost blotted out already from some areas. Despite the growing movement to protect native species, the poverty brought about by the drought of —28 led to the killing of another , koalas during a one-month open season in August The first successful efforts at conserving the species were initiated by the establishment of Brisbane's Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary and Sydney's Koala Park Sanctuary in the s and s. The owner of the latter park, Noel Burnet, became the first to successfully breed koalas and earned a reputation as the foremost contemporary authority on the marsupial.
This arrangement allowed him to undertake a detailed study of its diet in captivity. Since , koalas have been introduced to several coastal and offshore islands, including Kangaroo Island and French Island. Their numbers have significantly increased,  and since the islands are not large enough to sustain such high koala numbers, overbrowsing has become a problem.
For example, in —31, koalas were translocated to Quail Island. After a period of population growth, and subsequent overbrowsing of gum trees on the island, about 1, animals were released into mainland areas in The practice of translocating koalas became commonplace; Victorian State manager Peter Menkorst estimated that from to , about 25, animals were translocated to more than release sites across Victoria.
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- Adaptation and conservation insights from the koala genome.
One of the biggest anthropogenic threats to the koala is habitat destruction and fragmentation. In coastal areas, the main cause of this is urbanisation , while in rural areas, habitat is cleared for agriculture. Native forest trees are also taken down to be made into wood products. While urbanisation can pose a threat to koala populations, the animals can survive in urban areas provided enough trees are present.
As with most native animals, the koala cannot legally be kept as a pet in Australia or anywhere else. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Koala disambiguation.
An arboreal herbivorous marsupial native to Australia. Temporal range: 0. Conservation status.
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What do you get if you cross a kangaroo with a wallaby? | Global Ideas | DW |
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