facts about koalas

The Koala is a small to medium sized mammal that is found inhabiting a variety of different types of forest in south-eastern Australia. Despite it's appearance and the fact that it is also known as the Koala Bear, Koalas are in fact marsupials but are so distinctive amongst this specially adapted family of mammals that they are classified in a scientific group of their own. However, although they are now considered to be one of Australia's most iconic mammal species when European settlers first arrived things were very different, with millions of Koalas known to have been killed every year for their pelts (fur). The Koala is a unique animal that famously feeds only the leaves of the eucalyptus trees which they inhabit but this diet is very hard to digest and lacks many of the vital nutrients that are key to the survival of a number of animal species. Today, although populations are stable and widespread the Koala is affected by habitat loss as vast areas of land are cleared every year to support growing development.