The koala is an arboreal herbivorous marsupial native to Australia. Its closest living relatives are the wombats. The koala is found in coastal areas of the mainland’s eastern and southern regions, inhabiting Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, and South Australia. Koalas typically inhabit open eucalypt woodlands, and the leaves of these trees make up most of their diet. Because this eucalypt diet has limited nutritional and caloric content, koalas are largely sedentary and sleep up to 20 hours a day. They are asocial animals, and bonding exists only between mothers and dependent offspring. Adult males communicate with loud bellows that intimidate rivals and attract mates.
The animal was hunted heavily in the early 20th century for its fur, and large-scale cullings in Queensland resulted in a public outcry that initiated a movement to protect the species. The biggest threat to their existence is habitat destruction.
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