Scientists and citizen scientists have observed and documented the natural drinking behaviour of wild koalas for the first time. The marsupial’s survival may depend on this new information.
For this study, Dr Mella collated observations of koalas drinking in the wild made by citizen scientists and independent ecologists between 2006 and 2019 at the You Yangs Regional Park in Victoria and the Liverpool Plains in NSW. Each observation was koala behaviour noticed by chance and reported to Dr Mella.
There were 44 observations of free ranging koalas licking water running down a tree trunk during or immediately after rain in the You Yangs Regional Park.Dr Valentina Mella, University of Sydney
Koala Clancy Foundation data was crucial to this paper, providing 44 of 46 observations of koala drinking behaviour in the wild. Janine Duffy, our President was thanked in the paper, and one of our staff, Caitlin Orr, was named as co-author.
Read the paper here: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/eth.13032
Our picture of koala Pat graced the cover of Ethology journal in August 2020, and has since been used in many news articles.