What to do if you see a koala on the move this spring

What to do if you see a koala on the move this spring

It’s this time of year that koalas are on the move. Get some tips on what you should do if you spot one nearby.

Spring’s warm weath­er is per­fect for explor­ing South Aus­tralia and it’s also when many of our native wildlife are on the move.

Koalas are at their most mobile in the warmer months, with both sex­es look­ing for mates and young males try­ing to claim territory.

Unfor­tu­nate­ly this is the time of year when we start to see more koalas being hit by cars, so if you’re dri­ving in an area with lots of native trees it’s best to slow down.

Breed­ing sea­son also means koalas are more vocal, and you might be sur­prised by what you hear.

Males bel­low to let females know they’re around and to warn off com­pe­ti­tion, so you may hear koalas even if you don’t see them. A male koala bel­low sounds like a cross between a pig and a hip­popota­mus and seems too loud to come from an ani­mal of that size.

Ter­ri­to­r­i­al fights between males can also be quite ter­ri­fy­ing with a lot of scream­ing, scratch­ing and bit­ing involved. Just as loud, female koalas can have a pierc­ing squeal.

Spring koala tips

  • It’s impor­tant to keep dogs under con­trol – for the safe­ty of the dog as well as the koala. Although dogs’ teeth can do koalas a lot of harm, koalas have long, strong claws that they will use to defend them­selves if threat­ened which pose real risks for the dog as well.

  • Koalas reg­u­lar­ly vis­it sub­ur­ban gar­dens. If they can get in they can usu­al­ly get out again unassisted.

  • As the weath­er warms up, koalas often sit in non-native trees to con­trol their body tem­per­a­ture. Euro­pean vari­eties tend to be cool­er than eucalypts.

  • Males can have a dark mark on their chest – this is a scent gland they use to mark ter­ri­to­ry and is per­fect­ly normal.

  • If you see a koala on the ground for an extend­ed peri­od of time, a koala that appears to be injured, or a young joey with­out its moth­er, go on to Google and search for your local fau­na res­cue group.

Want to know how else you can help native wildlife? Read our blogs: Tips for res­cu­ing injured or orphaned wildlife and How to help native ani­mals in hot weath­er.

This sto­ry was orig­i­nal­ly pub­lished in Sep­tem­ber 2015. 

This con­tent was pro­duced in part­ner­ship with  Good Living