"As plain as the nose on their face: Efficacy of nostril pigment patterns in identifying individual koalas" - Janine Duffy

Janine presenting at her first global wildlife conference in 2014


On 7 October 2014 - Janine presented to a large audience at the Pathways 2014 Conference: Integrating Human Dimensions into Wildlife Management designed to address the issues that arise as people and wildlife struggle to coexist in a sustainable and healthy manner.

She proudly wore her "Make a Home for Clancy" shirt!  

Janine was very pleased with the larger than anticipated audience and their response, great questions asked and the ideas shared. 



Some research related media -  [see more on our In the Media page]

Janine's Koala Nose Pattern identification paper accepted for Pathways Conference

The Conference organisers said:  "This year Colorado State University is partnering with Michigan State University, Umeå University, and the Swedish University of Agricultural Science to host our most diverse cutting edge conference yet. This conference and training intends to set the precedent for future research, innovation, and collaboration and to further the application of human dimensions research in the field of fish and wildlife management"

Janine's unique koala nose pattern identification is used by the Echidna Walkabout team for recognising and monitoring koalas in the wild in a non-intrusive manner.  This research is a major part of our business profile and is funded by Echidna Walkabout profits and donations made to our Koala Research Project.  

What's this all about?

In 1998 we discovered a method of identifying koalas by using markings in their noses.  Over the past 16 years we have refined and tested the method and, based on 19,000 photographs of 108 wild koalas, have found it to be 93% accurate in identifying wild koalas in a non-intrusive, low-cost and safe way. 

In 2014 we were contacted by two US wildlife and ecotourism professors from Kansas State University, Dr Jeff Skibins & Dr Peg Shaw McBee, who are assisting us to publish this method to the global scientific community. 

We want to thank all our great Echidna Team, Jeff and Peg, our guests, National Park Rangers and others who have supported this research over the years.

The Echidna Team has had lots of big moments but is probably the BIGGEST so far.  We are ecstatic that our citizen science project has found this global recognition.  This project could lead to a significant step forward in the conservation of koalas.