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2016 - second year of data and photos

I headed into 2016 with a slight revision to my data collection as I realised towards the end of 2015 that I needed a way to differentiate between days that I went out spotting and found no koalas, and days when I was unable to go out spotting at all (eg if I went away for a few days).

There is quite a statistical difference between recording that no koalas were located, and that the property was not checked. This is not only important for the number of sightings, but particularly important for identifying possible trends of either higher or lower activity.

The final figures for 2016 saw koalas being found on the property a total of 301 days.
This meant there were koalas spotted 73 more days of the year than previously.
There were 53 days that the property was checked and no koalas found, and 9 days when the property was not checked.
Over those days there were a total of 480 adult sightings however there were NO back young seen all year. (and we do not know why)
These days of sightings were the result of activity on the property by 16 individual adult koalas.

MIST

a whopping year for our colony matriarch with her being on the property for 129 days which is just over one day in every three.

Mist seemed to be developing a pouch but it was not verified no matter how many photos I took.
Just when it seemed that her pouch would not be able to be hidden any longer she disappeared from the property. When she returned only a couple of months later she did not have a joey with her.

There is no way to know if she simply did not have a joey this year, or there was some misadventure.
Female koalas do not produce a joey every single year, so it may have simply been her year off to gain good condition for the next joey.

Mist in 2016
Legion in 2016

LEGION

on the first day of March this young fella wandered on to the property and no one would have guessed at the time that he would become such an important part of the colony!

The response to name him on Facebook once we could see he was definitely a male, was overwhelming. There were so many names put forward in a very short time, that I threw my hands up and named him Legion for there were so many suitable names!

During 2016 he delighted us with his photogenic qualities many times during the 80 days he was spotted on the property.

This was the very first photo I ever took of him and is a typical ‘Legion’ shot.

MAXINE

has quickly been nicknamed “The Divine Miss M” and “Princess” because she seems to be about as perfectly pretty as it is possible for a koala to be.

She arrived late in the year – November 5 was her first day here and yet she was seen here on 56 days which means from that first day til the year ended she did not leave the property boundaries even once – quite unusual!

She was estimated to be around 3 – 3.5 kg old when she arrived and so it was presumed she had just left her own mum and found her way here and intended to stay for sure.

Maxine in 2016
Zorro in 2016

ZORRO

an alpha male who ruled over 10% of the property.

Zorro was a mature alpha when he was first identified in March 2015, so it can safely be presumed he was breeding with females in this colony already by this time.

During 2016 he was identified on the property 54 times which tripled his time here from the previous year. This means that while his home range extends far beyond the boundaries of the Koala Gardens property, his influence on the property was increasing.

During the winter months he ventured further into areas of the property that he did not enter during 2015 so was possibly looking to expand his territory.

GRETA

is probably the very oldest colony member. At any rate we know that she was 10 -11 years in 2016 because she went for a trip to the vets and a stay at Friends of the Koala.

Greta arrived on the property in May and we noticed that she had a problem with her right eye as it was ‘wet’. Of course it’s hard to tell a lot sometimes by photo when the koala is 10 – 30 metres up a tree, so we kept an eye on her and looked for an opportunity to capture her.
Finally at the end of July we had success and she spent 5 weeks in care.

When we see a ‘wet’ eye on a koala we think chlamydia as this is the usual cause, but Greta had no sign of the disease. Her problem was a mechanical issue with her tear duct and it became obvious that she would have a ‘wet’ eye for the rest of her life.

She was released in September, and even with the hiccup of her stay in care she was seen here on the property 51 times.

Greta in 2016
Jordan in 2016

JORDAN

is an alpha male and while he rules over a large section of the property he was here less during 2016, being sighted only 47 times.

Something I have discovered however with Jordan is that he moves a lot more than the other males, and at times I have seen him in the early morning but he is gone again in the afternoon. This means if I only check the property once in the day I am more likely to be able to miss Jordan, while most other koalas I see in the morning will still be there in the afternoon. Not always, but Jordan moves more often in any 24 hour period.

I guess that is the price for being the one in charge – you have to work hard at staying there!

LOFTY

is a male that came to Koala Gardens in late 2015 with an obvious case of cystitis which causes the koala to become incontinent of urine and is a very serious disease that is often life threatening.

You can see the dark colouring on his bottom from the constant dribbling of urine over time that has caused his bottom to be constantly wet and burning through to his skin.

He was seen on the property a total of 17 days in January until he was caught and taken to a vet through Friends of the Koala. The chlamydia had progressed through his system and he was beyond help and had to be humanely euthanased.

Lofty in 2016
Cyrano in 2016

CYRANO

is a beautiful male koala that came through the property during 4 months from May to August for a total of 17 days.

This means it is very likely that he is a male that is looking for territory to call his own and become his own home range.

Most of the time we don’t know what happens to these males that move through the corridor that this property is in, but Cyrano was seen just one day in 2017 so it would seem that he has settled somewhere in the area.

STEVIE

is a lovely young female koala that arrived on the property during November as a sub adult, probably weighing around 3 kg.

She was only here twice during November and must have been looking around the area in general to find the right place to settle.

She then came back more often during December and certainly settled in here during 2017.

In 2016 she was sighted here 12 times.

She has the biggest ears against her head size of any koala on the property making here extra easy to identify – her ears have become one of her most endearing characteristics by her many fans on Facebook.

Stevie in 2016
Racee in 2016

RACEE

is a young female that arrived on the property during December and was sighted here a total of 5 days.

However she settled right in and has become an important part of the property.

She got her name from this first photo of her on the property as she looked a bit like she was about to go for a wild ride.

HELIX

is a delightful young male koala that came through just for 4 days as he traversed the koala corridor looking for his own home range.

We hope he found a great place to settle as he is a superb example of a male sub adult.

Helix in 2016
Gunner in 2016

GUNNER

is a young male who arrived on the property the same day that Helix arrived.

He was only seen on the property 3 times so we hope he found a good place to settle and thrive.

GLORY

is a young female who was called in to Friends of the Koala by a member of the public about 500 metres up the road from Koala Gardens.

She was found to have a joey in pouch and was kept in care for observation for a month or so.

She was brought to Koala Gardens to be released and stayed 2 days eating well and getting her bearings.

We presume that she found her way back to her home range that will be quite close by and hopefully raised her joey well.

Glory in 2016
Abby in 2016

ABBY

is a young koala that was seen just one day on the property, as she must have been moving through looking for a place to settle.

BAFFLE

is a young male koala who appeared on the property on December 31, the very last day of the year, and hasn’t been seen since.

He must have been looking for a place to settle as a new home range.

Baffle in 2016
Vaal in 2016

VAAL

is a young male koala that was only seen on the property one day as he was moving through looking for a place to call his own.

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