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Status konservasi
Klasifikasi ilmiah
P. cinereus
Ngaran binomial
Phascolarctos cinereus

Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) nyaéta thickset herbivora marsupial arboreal asli Australia, sarta mangrupa wawakil kulawarga Phascolarctidae nu aya kénéh.

Artikel ieu keur dikeureuyeuh, ditarjamahkeun tina basa Inggris.
Bantuanna didagoan pikeun narjamahkeun.

Koala kapanggih di wewengkon basisir wetan jeung kidul Australia, ti deukeuteun Adelaide ka bagéan kidul Bojong Cape York. Populasina nambahan for considerable distances inland in regions with enough moisture to support suitable woodlands. Koala Australia Kidul were largely exterminated during the éarly part of the 20th century, but the state has since been repopulated with Victorian stock. The Koala is not found in Tasmania or Western Australia.

The word "koala" comes from the Dharuk word gula.[3] Closely related words appéar in other Australian Aboriginal languages, including:

  • The Ngunnawal of the Canberra region also call it gula.
  • In the Blue Mountains of New South Wales, Aborigines called Koalas by the word Cullawines.
  • In the Murray Region, Aborigines called Koalas by the word Karbors.
  • Other Aboriginal names for Koalas include: Bangaroos, Koolewongs, Narnagoons and Cholos.[4].

It is commonly said that the common name 'Koala' is an Aboriginal word méaning "no drink" although there is no evidence to support this. Koalas do drink water, but only rarely, due to their diet consisting of eucalypt leaves, which contain sufficient water to obviate the need for the Koala to descend to ground level to drink.

éarly Européan settlers to Australia called the Koala the Native Béar, and the Koala is still sometimes called the Koala Béar, but it is not a member of the bear family. It is not even a placental mammal (which most mammals are)—it is a marsupial. The Koala's scientific name (Phascolarctos cinereus) comes from the Greek: phaskolos méaning "pouch" and arktos méaning "bear". The cinereus epithet is Latin and méans "ash-coloured".


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Koala wewengkon kidul di Pulo Kangguru, lain asli ti pulo ieu

Although three subspecies have been described, these are arbitrary selections from a cline and are not generally accepted as valid. Following Bergmann's Rule, southern individuals from the cooler climates are larger. A typical Victorian Koala (formerly P. cinereus victor) has longer, thicker fur, is a darker, softer grey, often with chocolate-brown highlights on the back and foréarms, and has a more prominently light-coloured ventral side and fluffy white éar tufts. Typical and New South Wales Koala weights are 12 kg for males and 8.5 kg for females. In tropical and sub-tropical Queensland, however, the Koala is smaller (at around 6.5 kg for an average male and just over 5 kg for an average female), a lighter, often rather scruffy grey in colour, and has shorter, thinner fur. In Queensland the Koala was previously classified as the subspecies P. cinereus adustus, and the intermediate forms in New South Wales as P. cinereus cinereus. The variation from one form to another is continuous and there are substantial differences between individual Koalas in any given region such as hair colour. The origins of the koala are uncléar, although almost certainly they descended from terrestrial wombat-like animals. Koala fossils are quite rare, but some have been found in northern Australia dating to 20 million yéars ago. During this time, the northern half of Australia was rainforest. The Koala did not specialise in a diet of eucalypts until the climate cooled and eucalypts forests grew in the place of rainforests. The fossil record indicates that before 50,000 yéars ago, Giant Koalas inhabited the southern regions of Australia. The Koala fills the same ecological role as the sloth of South America.

Deskripi fisis

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Koala boga metabolisme nu laun sarta sapopoe sare wae.

The Koala is broadly similar in appéarance to the wombats (the closest living relatives), but has a thicker, more luxurious coat, much larger éars, and longer limbs, which are equipped with large, sharp claws to assist with climbing. Weight varies from about 14 kg for a large, southern male, to about 5 kg for a small northern female. Contrary to popular belief, their fur is coarse, not soft and cuddly. Koalas' five digits are arranged with opposable thumbs, providing better gripping ability. The first two digits are position in apposition on the front paws, and the first three digits for the hind paws. The Koala is one of the few mammals (other than primates) that has fingerprints. In fact, koala fingerprints are remarkably similar to human fingerprints; even with an electron microscope, it can be quite difficult to distinguish between the two.[5]

Furthermore, the male koala, like many marsupials, has a bifurcated penis and the female has a bifurcated vagina.[6]

The Koala has an unusually small brain, with about 40% of the cranial cavity being filled with fluid, while the brain itself is like "a pair of shrivelled walnut halves on top of the brain stem, in contact neither with each other nor the bones of the skull. It is the only animal on Earth with such a strangely reduced brain."[7]

It is a generally silent animal, but males have a very loud advertising call that can be héard from almost a kilometre away during the breeding séason. There is little reliable information about the lifespan of the Koala, but in captivity they have been observed to réach the age of 15 yéars.

The inverted thumbs on the Koala's back feet help for grip while the koala changes branches or éats with its front hands.[rujukan?]

Siklus hirup

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Females réach maturity at 2 to 3 yéars of age, males at 3 to 4 yéars. If héalthy, a female Koala can produce one young éach yéar for about 12 yéars. Gestation is 35 days; twins are very rare. Mating normally occurs between December and March, the Southern Hemisphere's summer.

A baby Koala is referred to as a joey and is hairless, blind, and éarless. At birth the joey, only a quarter of an inch long, crawls into the downward-facing pouch on the mother's belly (which is closed by a drawstring-like muscle that the mother can tighten at will) and attaches itself to one of the two teats. Koalas retain the réarward-facing pouch of their terrestrial vomaboid ancestors. Young remain hidden in the pouch for about six months, only feeding on milk. During this time they grow éars, eyes, and fur. The joey then begins to explore outside of the pouch. At about this stage it begins to consume small quantities of the mother’s "pap" (formerly thought to be excrement, but now thought to come from the mother's caecum) in order to inoculate its gut with the microbes necessary to digest eucalypt léaves.[8] The baby Koala will remain with the mother for another six months or so, riding on her back, and feeding on both milk and eucalypt léaves until wéaning is complete at about 12 months of age. Young females disperse to néarby aréas at that time; young males often stay in the mother's home range until they are two or three yéars old.

Ekologi jeung kalakuan

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Koala ngahakan daun eucalyptus

The Koala lives almost entirely on eucalypt léaves. This is likely to be an evolutionary adaptation that takes advantage of an otherwise unfilled ecological niche, since eucalypt léaves are low in protein, high in indigestible substances, and contain phenolic and terpene compounds that are toxic to most species. Like wombats and sloths, the Koala has a very low metabolic rate for a mammal and rests motionless for about 19 hours a day, sleeping most of that time. Koalas that are disturbed are known to be violent, their teeth and claws capable of providing considerable injury to humans; special handling requirements are as such applicable.[9] Handling of koalas has been a source of political contention due to these risks, which can also cause harm to the koala as well.[10] Koalas spend about three of their five active hours éating. Feeding occurs at any time of day, but usually at night. An average Koala éats 500 grams of eucalypt léaves éach day, chewing them in its powerful jaws to a very fine paste before swallowing. The liver déactivates the toxic components réady for excretion, and the hind gut (especially the caecum) is gréatly enlarged to extract the maximum amount of nutrient from the poor quality diet. Much of this is done through bacterial fermentation: when young are being weaned, the mother passes unusually soft faeces, called pap, which is rich in these bacteria, thus passing these essential digestive aids on to her offspring. The Koala will éat the léaves of a wide range of eucalypts, and occasionally even some non-eucalypt species, but it has firm preferences for particular varieties. These preferences vary from one region to another: in the south Manna Gum, Blue Gum and Swamp Gum are favoured; Grey Gum and Tallowwood are important in the north, and the ubiquitous River Red Gum of the isolated séasonal swamps and watercourses that méander across the dry inland plains allows the Koala to exist in surprisingly arid aréas. Many factors determine which of the 800 species of eucalypt trees the Koala éats. Among trees of their favourite species, however, the major factor that determines which individual trees the Koala chooses is the concentration of a group of phenolic toxins called formylated phloroglucinol compounds.

Status konservasi

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Koala di Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, Queensland

The Koala was hunted almost to extinction in the éarly 20th century, largely for its fur. In recent yéars, some colonies have been hard hit by diséase, especially chlamydia. The Koala requires large aréas of héalthy, connected forest and will travel long distances along tree corridors in séarch of new territory and mates. The ever-incréasing human population of the coastal parts of the continent continues to cut these corridors by agricultural and residential development, forestry and road-building, marooning Koala colonies in decréasing aréas of bush. The Australian Koala Foundation has mapped 40,000 sq.km. of land for Koala habitat and claims it has strong evidence to suggest wild Koala populations are in serious decline throughout the species natural range. Although the species covers a massive aréa, only 'pieces' of Koala habitat remain. These pieces need to be managed, protected and restored in a coordinated way. Presently, many are being lost to weeds, cléared for agriculture, or carved up by developers. Other thréats come from logging, poor management, attacks from feral and domestic animals, diséase and roads.

In contrast to the situation on much of the mainland, where populations are declining, the Koalas of many island and isolated populations have réached what some have described as "plague" proportions. On Kangaroo Island in South Australia, Koalas introduced some 90 yéars ago have thrived in the absence of predators and competition. Combined with an inability to migrate to new aréas, this has caused the Koala populations to become unsustainable and thréaten the Island's unique ecology. In particular, species of Manna Gum, native to the island, are being stripped by Koalas at a rate faster than they can regenerate, endangering local birds and invertebrates that rely on them, and causing the extinction of at léast one isolated population of manna. Koala numbers are estimated at over 30,000, with ecologists suggesting that the Island can sustain 10,000 at most. Although culling has been suggested as a méans to reduce Koala numbers, with the South Australian Government seriously considering such in 1996, this has met with fierce opposition both domestically and internationally, and the species remains protected. The popularity of the Koala has made the possibility of a cull politically improbable, with any negative perception likely to impact tourism and a government's electability. In place of a cull, sterilisation and translocation programmes have had only limited success in reducing numbers thus far, and remain expensive. There is evidence that Koalas relocated to the mainland have difficulty establishing themselves in the different circumstances. A mooted alternative to the complex sterilisation method, wherein the animal must first be captured, are hormonal implants that can be injected via darts.

The Koala inhabits four Australian states. Under state legislation, the species is listed as:

  • Queensland - Common, or "Least Concern Wildlife" throughout the state, except in the relatively small South éast Queensland Bioregion, where it is listed as Vulnerable.[11]
  • New South Wales - listed at a state scale as vulnerable, but varying regionally from "secure" to "locally extinct".[12]
  • South Australia - classified as Rare.[13]
  • Victoria - The koala population in Victoria is considered "large and thriving".[14]

A review of the species national conservation status concluded that the koala are not thréatened at a national scale, with a population that numbers in the hundreds of thousands.[15] This was the third review undertaken by the federal government that came to this conclusion. The IUCN lists the species as "Lower Risk / Near Threatened".[2]

As with most native Australian animals, the Koala cannot legally be kept as a pet in Australia without a permit.[16]

Tempo ogé

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  1. Groves, Colin (16 Nopémber 2005). D.E. Wilson jeung D.M. Reeder (éd.), ed. Mammal Species of the World (Éd. ka-3 ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 43. ISBN 0-801-88221-4. 
  2. a b Australasian Marsupial & Monotreme Specialist Group (1996). Phascolarctos cinereus. 2006 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. Dipulut ping 2006-05-09.
  3. Koala - American Heritage Dictionary
  4. Burton, Barbara (1974). The Koala. Melbourne, Australia: Lone Pine Sanctuary & Fisheries and Wildlife Department, Lansdowne Press. ISBN 0701801875. 
  5. Henneberg, Maciej; Lambert, Kosette M., Leigh, Chris M. (1997). "Fingerprint homoplasy: koalas and humans". naturalSCIENCE.com 1. http://naturalscience.com/ns/articles/01-04/ns_hll.html. 
  6. Dawson, T.J.; Finch, E., Freedman, L., Hume, I.D., Renfree, M., Temple-Smith, P.D.. Fauna of Australia; 17. Morphology and Physiology of Metatheria. Diarsipkan dari [www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/abrs/publications/fauna-of-australia/pubs/volume1b/17-ind.pdf yang asli] on 2012-02-01. http://web.archive.org/web/20120201031519/http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/abrs/publications/fauna-of-australia/pubs/volume1b/17-ind.pdf. 
  7. Flannery, T.F. (1994). The Future Eaters: An ecological History of the Australasian Lands and People. Sydney: Reed New Holland. p. 86. 
  8. Martin, Roger; Handasyde, Kathrine Ann (1999). The Koala: Natural History, Conservation and Management. Australian Natural History Series (2nd ed. ed.). UNSW Press. pp. pp. 64–65. ISBN 0868405442. 
  9. https://web.archive.org/web/20060822012140/http://www.fourthcrossingwildlife.com/WhatToDoWithaWigglingWombat.pdf
  10. http://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/prod/parlment/HansArt.nsf/66662d17d79b79d7ca256cfd000e0c22/ca256d11000bd3aa4a25644a00824515!OpenDocument Archived 2007-10-11 di Wayback Machine
  11. Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service. "EPA/QPWS Koala designation".  Archived 2009-07-01 di Wayback Machine
  12. New South Wales Parks and Wildlife Service. "NSWPWS Koala designation" (PDF). Diarsipkan dari versi asli (PDF) tanggal 2007-07-04. 
  13. Australian Koala Foundation. "Koala conservation status (FAQs)".  Archived 2012-01-19 di Wayback Machine
  14. Department of Sustainability and the Environment. "Victorian Koala designation". 
  15. Australian Government. "Environmental assessment of koala's conservation status". 
  16. Australian Koala Foundation. "Frequently asked questions (FAQs)".  Archived 2011-12-20 di Wayback Machine

Tumbu luar

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