In the You Yangs just west of Melbourne a population of wild koalas live, untouched by the terrible mega-fires of Australia’s Black Summer. They still face challenges, of course, with increasing dryness and heatwaves due to climate change. But there is good news for these koalas, who are breeding well.
Echidna Walkabout & Koala Clancy Foundation monitor these koalas closely.
Even with COVID lockdown reducing our research* we discovered four new koala babies in our You Yangs population this season.
We are thrilled to introduce you to our four new koala joeys.
Kallama: daughter of Ngardang
This is the koala joey we’ve seen the most. She’s curious and good, and confident without being foolish. At 10 months she was climbing about in the same tree as her mother, and at 11 months she was independent.
Lara: daughter of KiKi
She’s a secretive one, this Lara. She emerged at normal time, in July, then was seen 12 times with her mother until October. Then adventurous KiKi took her away, and we haven’t seen either of them since!
There’s no cause for concern – adult female koalas do occasionally change their home range. I suspect we will find them again in another part of the You Yangs.
Balyang: son of Kozo
Balyang means Bat in Wathaurong, and is also the name of a lovely area just north of the You Yangs where we are planting trees for koalas. Balyang is Kozo’s second joey.
He appeared in early July, so we think he was born in January 2020. His father is handsome Mabo, and the good news is that Balyang looks just like him!
Waa: son of Wemba
Cheeky little Waa was first seen in late June 2020 at around 6 months of age. We deduced that his dad might also be Mabo, and his bold behaviour is like a chip off the old block!
He is the hungriest little joey we’ve ever seen – nursing every time we see him. His lovely tolerant mother Wemba puts up with his demands. She obviously wants him to grow big and strong like his father.
The best way to meet these koala joeys yourself is to attend a Koala Conservation Day. You can book these here.
Love the good news about koala joeys? Read about our cast of baby koala stars in 2019.
Why did COVID reduce our research?
All the koala research is funded by tourism, and that came to an abrupt halt with the coronavirus. So with no funding, and lockdowns, we were not able to do any research for part of the year, and only able to continue paying for researchers two days per week after the lockdown was lifted. In previous years, we had researchers out nearly 7 days per week, and guides and tourists who added to the number of koalas found each day. The good koala news is that we plan to continue our research regardless, and will keep monitoring these precious koalas throughout 2021.