Protecting koala populations through habitat regeneration - private landowners have the power. Every tree makes a difference.

2018 - into the fourth year of daily sighting, observation and photography

The only change I made to data collection this year was to mark the food tree plantation as 2 sections because it has started attracting koala attention. Now that I have 2 full years of data on koalas in locations I can begin to analyse this.

Without a doubt 2018 has been a year of constantly exceeding expectations and proves that the answer is one simple word – HABITAT.

The final figures for 2018 saw koalas being found on the property a total of 355 days.
This seems like koalas were found 2 days less than in 2017 BUT the huge difference is that the only 10 days all year that no koalas were spotted on the property were the only 10 days all year that I was not present on the property. I was never gone for more than 3 consecutive days so it is fair to say there were in fact koalas on the property every single day in 2018.
This is huge when compared to 4 years previously when koalas were only found on 228 days out of the 365.

Over those days there were a total of 1372 adult sightings and 277 back young. This shows a continuing upwards trend and an average of nearly 4 koalas every single day. In fact the largest number of independent koalas seen on a single day was 9 (and there was 1 back young as well).
These days of sightings were the result of activity on the property by 30 individual adult/independent koalas.
Adding to these astounding figures is that the 4 regular resident adult females produced joeys, and all 4 joeys have become independent from their mothers ON the property. This has never happened before. 2017 we saw 2 of 4 joeys raised on the property remain, at least for a while.
Greta produced another joey which she brought onto the property once.
Tragically the colony matriarch Mist was taken by chlamydia at the age of 12 which is an awesome age to reach.
Her son Krissy was able to be successfully treated for the infection and released back home.
One other koala, Janis, walked onto the property with Chlamydia eariler in the year and was immediately captured.
There was NO other sign of ill health on the property all year.

Now settle back and look over the 30 koalas that lived on, or came through Koala Gardens during 2018

BULLET

managed to hold his own winning a place in the colony.
He did however suffer a misadventure either with another male koala or most likely with a dog on a neighbouring property. (there are no dogs at Koala Gardens)

He spent 2 months fighting for his life at Currumbin Wildlife Hospital and finally was healed enough to be released back onto the property.

Despite his time away he spent the most days on the property of all koalas this year – an impressive 217

Maxine in 2018

MAXINE

was such a close second being here 215 days of the year.
The ‘Divine Miss M’ has kept her title of Princess and produced another female joey (very probably fathered again by Legion) named Dewdrop.


But her favourite area has always remained in the cool sheltered bloodwood gully area named on the map as Maxine’s hangout.

She is incredibly photogenic, and has taken to motherhood as though it were the most natural thing in the world – oh hang on, it is!

MIST

was not far behind, spending 181 days here.

Mist made 12 years of wild koala life count indeed.

Mist was a very important matriarch of the colony and has produced at least 6 known offspring (but very likely produced more).

She was taken, as are so many koalas, by chlamydia in December and will be sorely missed, but she will continue to do so much for koalas.

She is the main character in a children’s book that has been successfully released in 2018 and is the first of a series.
So Mist will live on for many a year to come yet.

Mist in 2018
Stevie in 2018

STEVIE

has matured into the most beautiful big koala during this year and successfully raised her first joey – Frankie.

She is a little younger than Racee and Maxine and so got to enjoy 2017 as a teenager, but she really came into her own this year.

It was thought Bullet had mated her, but Frankie bears many signs of being a son of Jordan, mostly in his round face and dark colouring.

She was found on the property a total of 178 days – just one more day than she spent here last year!

STELLA

was seen on the property a total of 103 days.

She is the first daughter of Maxine and they separated gradually over a period of weeks and then shared the area around Jordan’s red gums and bloodwood gully.

As the winter progressed and Maxine showed a lot of pouch bulge with a new joey, Stella slowly spent more and more time away from the property.

It is certainly hoped that she has found her own home range nearby and is doing well and I keep my eye on nose patterns looking for her.

Stella in 2018
Legion in 2018

LEGION

was seen on the property a total of 81 days, only 7 days less than in 2017.

He seemed to be developing a pattern of leaving the property for the Autumn and Winter, returning late spring or early summer for the breeding season and staying as close as possible to Maxine.

However, he has not returned during this summer breeding season. He has not been seen even once. Instead, Bullet has been frequenting the same area and following Maxine.

It is hoped that Legion has made a permanent home range nearby.

JORDAN

remains the alpha male of the colony.

This does not mean he is the only male, but he is the top fella on the pile and I think he moves over a large area. He has matured on even more this year and his scent gland increased with the new breeding season, demonstrating his high status to all.

He was seen on the property only 72 times, howeve this is 22 times more than last year so he has been quite active.

Jordan has still been observed to often move quite large distances during the daytime, so it is possible I still often miss him as he moves through.

Jordan in 2018
Racee in 2108

RACEE

was the third young female that arrived late 2016.

She has produced her second joey this year – Phoenix. We are still unsure if this is a male or female.

Racee only ever uses zone 9 and 15, the top western zone of the property, so most of her home range is not at Koala Gardens.

She was found on the property a total of 71 days, which is roughly half the amount of time she spent here last year.

ENIGMA

is the son of Mist.


He spent his young days in the area that has now been renamed Frankie’s playground, but it was certainly Enigma’s playground originally.

Enigma is the first joey conceived, born and emerged from the pouch, that remained on the property. However, as he began to mature a little, and males were beginning to feel the breeding season would start, he was probably pressured to move on.

After he left, he has occasionally been seen on the property a day here or there, so it is thought that he has made a home range quite close by.

Enigma in 2018
Beau in 2018

BEAU

has only spent 53 days on the property, but that has only been over the last 4 months of the year.

He has spent a lot of that time sticking as close as possible to Stevie. He is a dark colour, so if the new joey is dark it will be hard to know if Jordan succeded again or if Beau was the lucky one!

He is a large fella and it is going to be interesting to see if he becomes a full colony member.

FRANKIE

was probably born around Nov/Dec 2017 and showed as a definite pouch bulge in Stevie in early Feb 2018.

He emerged from the pouch in July and for a long time was hard to see closly as Stevie tends to stay very high in the treetops.

Finally at the end of November he separated from his mum and spends most of his time in Frankie’s playground (where Enigma grew up). He is as comfortable in very high mature trees as in the younger plantation area.

If Stevie comes through he seems to try and follow her, but she is too smart for him and he is usually left behind. He has been seen alone 26 times.

Frankie in 2018
Krissy in 2018

KRISSY

is the last son of Mist. He was born around Nov/Dec 2017 and emerged from her pouch in late June.

For a long time we all thought he was the prettiest female joey we had seen and it was with hilarious surprise that it was discovered, just after he separated from Mist that he is indeed ‘he’.

They separated in late October and all seemed well, but suddenly Krissy developed conjunctivitis fast. He was captured and taken into care and treated for a positive chlamydia infection. He responded quickly to the treatment and just 5 weeks later was able to leave Friends of the Koala and be released here again where he is settled and growing now.

He has spent 23 days independently on the property now.

TUCKER

was only seen here 14 times, but that was over a 4 month period from May to August.

So he was seriously looking for somewhere to call home it would seem. He is a big boy, and seemed fully mature.

With all that is happening with koala habitat destruction it is hard to know why an individual moves through. What we do know is that there were more koalas on the move throughout the north coast this year. Koala Gardens statistics certainly supports this and reflects the general trends being cited by the expert researchers.

Hopefully he found somewhere safe to settle.

Tucker in 2018
Winter - a male koala in 2018

WINTER

was also seen here only 14 times, and over a 4 month period but from July to October.

He was another large, mature looking male that seemed to be searching for a home range to settle in.

He was not seen fighting with any other males, but he must have been moved along it seems.

I hope he found a safe home.

KITA

is a delightful female, probably younger as she looked around 4-5 kg.

She was on the property 11 times over a 4 month period from July to November, but these did not really coincide with Tucker or Winter.

We all hoped she would stay, but hopefully she has found a safe place to create a home range nearby.

Kita in 2018
Dewdrop in 2018

DEWDROP

is the second female joey of Maxine.

Dewdrop was born around Dec 2017/Jan 2018 and emerged from the pouch in early August.

She separated from Maxine in mid December and Bullet has been sticking close to her nearly every day, often in the same tree.

This is not ‘protective behaviour’ from the view of him wanting to look after her, he is hoping she will be a breeding candidate but he is a full year too early. His attention to her has made it pretty certain she is female as he would ignore a 2 kg male joey.

She has been seen independently of Maxine on 10 days.

CARL

was seen a total of 5 days, almost consecutively.

During that time he spent a day each in a different area of the property and then was gone.

It is hoped he found a home range to settle in.

Carl in 2018
Pinky doll in 2018

PINKY DOLL

was seen a total of 5 consecutive days.

She was always up around Racee’s highpoint.

It is not known if she was looking for a place to make a home range, or if she is a local koala that had come across the boundary.

Hopefully she has a good home range now with plenty of food.

SHADOW

was a lovely girl that popped in for 5 days during winter.

Often koalas are moving around at this time of year because feed is low and the need for calories is high.

Hopefully she found somewhere to make her own home range.

Shadow in 2018
Shyla in 2018

SHYLA

was only seen 4 times on the property.

Oddly she was here 2 days in a row in September, then again 2 days in November.

She was given this fab name because she was incredibly difficult to get an identifying photograph/video of, due to being intensely shy.

VIOLET

only spent 3 days on the property.

2 days in late November, and then again late December.

She must be related to Shyla, because she was also intensely shy and it took a lot of effort to identify her.

Her apt name is for her shrinking violet nature.

Violet in 2018
Amber in 2018

AMBER

was here just 2 days.

A lovely and definitive nose pattern and then he was gone.

It seems he was a younger male, probably only barely 5kg in size.

I hope he found a safe home range to settle in.

JANIS

was here for only 2 days.

Really she arrived one afternoon, and the next morning I captured her.

She had advanced chlamydia both in her eyes and bladder which was very sad. She was taken to a vet immediately and the systemic damage was confirmed.

She was euthanased kindly and I hope she hadn’t suffered too much too long before she came here.

Janis in 2018
Alan in 2018

ALAN

was here just one day in November.

I guess he was travelling the natural koala corridor looking for a place of his own.

Hopefully he found somewhere safe with lots of food.

BUNDJALUNG

was here just one day in October.

Hopefully he safely found his way along the natural koala corridor and was able to find a place to settle and live safely.

Bundjalung in 2018
Buster in 2018

BUSTER

was here just one day during May.

I hope he found his way to somewhere safe to live a long, healthy koala life.

GRETA

was seen here a lot in 2016.

She had a weeping eye and was captured and we attempted to treat it but is seems it is a tear duct malfunction, rather than infection.

She only came back to the property once in 2018, but at 13 years old, she had a big healthy joey with her. (you can see joey in her lap)

May you live well Greta, what a marvel.

Greta and joey in 2018
Karla in 2018

KARLA

is the first joey of Racee.

They separated and she became independent in late November 2017. Racee took her away from Koala Gardens and left her.

One day in late April, Karla was seen up in Racee’s highpoint area.

She had grown by at least 1-2 kg, and was looking terrific.

Hopefully she has found a good home range, with great food trees and will be healthy and ready to breed for 2019.

PHOENIX

is the second joey of Racee.

She was born during December 2017. She emerged from the pouch in early August and grew quickly.

Phoenix and Racee separated on Dec 31, 2018 so there has been just one day recorded of Phoenix as an independent.

Hopefully she will stay around for a long time – she certainly has her mothers eyes.

Phoenix in 2018
River - a koala in 2018

RIVER

was here just one very wet day in March.

We hope she found a safe place to live with lots of food trees.

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