About Koala Ngardang

wild koala female with joey cuddling


Origin of name:

Ngardang means mother in the Wathaurong Aboriginal language of the You Yangs/Geelong/Ballarat region.

Known since:

2014 – she was first seen as a tiny joey with her mum Babarrang. We estimate she was born in January 2014.

koala joey with funny look
Ngardang as a tiny joey, with her mum Babarrang in 2014
How often seen:

She is seen quite regularly – she was seen on 36 days in 2017.


Her mum is Babarrang, and her father is probably Vincent (one of the stars of the book “Koala Clancy of the You Yangs”) She has three siblings that we know of – a joey born in 2013, Djadja born in 2015, Burun born in 2017 and little Karrborr, born 2019.

Ngardang has four joeys herself – Wurdi (m) born in 2016; Lakorra (f) born in 2017, Bunyip (m) born in 2018 and new joey Winjku (f) born in 2019. Wurdi and Bunyip were probably sired by Clancy, Lakorra was probably sired by Winberry and Winjku’s father is probably Gulkurguli.

koala joey peeking at camera
Ngardang with her first joey Wurdi, first son of Clancy, in 2016

Clancy lives in the north of her range, Winberry in the south. Females KiKi, Kozo, her sister Djadja, and her daughter Lakorra are her nearest neighbours.

Interesting Notes:

Ngardang is an excellent breeding female and is doing it by the book – she had her first joey when she was 2 years old, her second at 3 years and her third at 4 years. She is a large female, and we’ve noticed that females with large body size are more successful mothers.  Perhaps her large size shows that she is very fit and healthy, or she’s grown up in good habitat. Living near her mother could also have given her access to quality habitat.  Female koalas with large body size may also have more choice over which male they mate with, and choose the fittest father for their joeys.

Survived extreme heat/drought catastrophes:

Ngardang has survived the following extreme heat waves and droughts.

2014: 14 to 17 January (4 days over 40C, the last at max 46C)  Ngardang was born during or just after this disaster – the strain on her mother Babarrang would have been tremendous.
2019: 4 January max temp: 46C – at this time she had just weaned joey Bunyip.
2019: 25 January max temp: 46C
2019: 20 December max temp: 45C

Media Appearances:

Ngardang and Lakorra showed off their tree climbing abilities in this video for Wild Koala Day, May 3 2017:

and read about it here on the Wild Koala Day website.

You can also watch Ngardang relaxing on a warm summer day here:

How do we know all this about Ngardang?

Our Wild Koala Research Project has been monitoring the koalas of the You Yangs and Brisbane Ranges for 20 years, using our non-intrusive method of nose pattern identification.

Learn more:

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