The koala’s nose is distinctive – it’s a big black leathery rectangle in the middle of a round, grey face that’s surprisingly soft to the touch. And every koala nose is unique.
A study of 108 wild koalas found distinctive patterns of pigmentation around the nostrils allowed observers on the ground to reliably recognise individual animals, even when they’re in the trees.
This article by A/Prof Ben Moore and Dr Edward Narayan appeared in The Conversation in June 2019. The study of 108 wild koalas they cite is our Koala Clancy Foundation Wild Koala Project, funded by Echidna Walkabout Nature Tours.
Janine Duffy, our President, discovered the method of identifying individual koalas by their natural nose markings in 1998. Read more here: https://www.koalaclancyfoundation.org.au/koala-id-presentation/