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

2019 - into the fifth year of daily sighting, observation and photography

There was only one change made to the property areas  in 2019.  A section 18 was created.  If you look at the map at the start of the Colony Members page you will see 18 is Mist’s secret corner.  This used to be the end of section 8 and I decided to separate that into section 8 and 18.

Without a doubt 2019 has been a year of constantly exceeding expectations and proves that the answer is one simple word – HABITAT.

However, we also know that the last quarter of 2019 saw unprecedented drought and fires as a result of climate change.  This did result in much lower sightings for November and December.  No fire encroached on the property, but one fire did come very close to the northern boundary.

The final figures for 2019 saw koalas being found on the property a total of 357 days.
There were 3 days during the year when I was not here to check koalas.  There were 5 days during the year when there were no koalas found.

Over those days there were a total of 1597 adult sightings and 124 back young sightings. This shows a continuing upwards trend and an average of 4.4 koalas every single day. In fact the largest number of independent koalas seen on a single day was 10 which was another record breaker.
These days of sightings were the result of activity on the property by 36 individual adult/independent koalas.
20 of these 36 koalas were males and only 16 females.

Last year there were 4 breeding females here.  Mist was 12 years old and succumbed to chlamydia late 2018, so there was one less breeding female.  Not long after her joey emerged from the pouch, Maxine appears to have left the property.  This means that there were only 2 breeding females this year and so the numbers as a comparison make sense.

The 2 joeys have only become partially independent from their mothers so far and are in separate trees, but moving about with Racee and Stevie and so at the end of the year they were still coming and going.  Last year the joeys were simply left on the property.

One koala, Dilly, walked onto the property with Chlamydia late in the year and was immediately captured but was very ill and had to be euthanased.

Another koala, Howzat seemed to be fine when he first arrived, but after a week or so it became apparent he was not quite right.  He had chlamydial pneumonia and was seriously ill and did not make it.

There was NO other sign of ill health on the property all year, the regular colony members have remained very healthy.

Now settle back and look over the 36 koalas that lived on, or came through Koala Gardens during 2019.

KRISSY

was here for 215 days of the year which is the largest number of days  for any koala in 2019.

He spent the entire first half of the year in section 5 – Krissy’s hollow.  As this was in the middle of the property he slowly increased his range, kin of in an expanding circle. 

Krissy is the son of Mist who was the colony matriarch.  He developed chlamydial conjunctivitis in late 2018 which was successfully treated.

The last day he was seen on the property was 24 Aug.  He was a juvenile male at this time and it was time for him to disperse and look for his own place to settle.

It is hard to watch koalas leave, especially to see the only koala of Mist’s bloodline to go.  But this is a part of the natural order of things and not every joey can remain in a colony if genetic diversity is going to be maintained.

I hope he has made a good home with plenty of food and is able to breed those bloodlines on in 2020.

krissy koala
bullet koala

BULLET

was a close second being here 185 days of the year.

Bullet is such a great survivor.  He was bitten by a dog in 2018 and the wound successfully treated at the wildlife hospital at Currumbin.

In 2019 he went from strength to strength even after ripping out his left ear tag.

As he was reaching full maturity he left the property, probably needing to find his own place, maybe he is now an alpha somewhere.  We wish you all the very best in koala life mate!

DEWDROP

is the daughter of Maxine from 2018 and was seen here 164 days in 2019.

Like her mother she spent much of her time in bloodwood gully and near the house in Jordan’s red gum.

She quickly grew into a very strong koala, and was independent quickly.  When she first separated from Maxine she was often seen in the same or in a neighouring tree to Bullet.  

She was last seen on the property on 18 October and has hopefully found a place with plenty of food and strong males for her home.

dewdrop koala
frankie koala

FRANKIE

is the son of Stevie and was seen here 159 days in 2019.

He is a dark colour and a very calm natured koala.  In this photo you can see him checking out Summer who is a very similar age.

After becoming independent he spent his time in section 11, Frankie’s playground.  This area is right beside his mums favourite area and we will see she was seen a lot less this year.  Every time she returned to her favourite red gums Frankie would climb the same tree and try to remain too close for comfort and she would take off again.  Some boys just don’t want to let mum go!

He left the property in August around the same time that Summer and Krissy left.

RACEE

is a wonderful mother and has successfully raised her third joey – Smokey.  

She also gave birth in December to her fourth joey and has been keeping Smokey at a distance though they often move about together in nearby trees.

Racee continues to use section 9 and 15, but did venture down into section 5 and around that area for a couple of days during late Sept/early Oct.

She was seen on the property 137 days, basically double the time she was seen here last year.

racee koala with joey
maxine koala and joey

MAXINE

known as ‘the princess’ gave birth to a beautiful male joey this year named Max.

This is her third joey, so she is an experienced mother.

Maxine has been known to travel around all sections on the property but is most often seen in section 1, 2, 3 and 6.

She was seen only 125 days, moving off the property in early August around the time the youngsters were dispersing.  We hope she is just somewhere close by and healthy.

PHOENIX

is the daughter of Racee from 2018.

She has grown into a big, strong girl, with a wide rump and thick arms. Her colouring is quite dark and she has a slightly undershot jaw giving her a distinctive look.  By her body condition it is obvious her jaw works perfectly and she eats all she needs.

Since becoming independent she is here regularly but spends most of her time over the south-western boundary.  Mostly She is seen in sections 9 and 15, just like her mum, but she does spend some time in sections 10 and 11.

She was seen 106 days during 2019.

phoenix koala
stevie koala

STEVIE

is another wonderful mother and has successfully raised her second joey Nick during 2019.  In late December she gave birth again and Nick has been becoming quite independent of her.

They tend to move around together but are always seen in separate trees.

Beau seemed to follow her around for quite a long time, so possibly he is the father of Nick.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful to get a funded project doing DNA studies on the colony!

Stevie spent only 105 days on the property – read about Frankie above for the explanation.

SUMMER

is around the same age as Frankie, Krissy, Dewdrop and Phoenix but was not born on the property.  

Summer was first seen here on January 17 and then spent a lot of his time in sections 9, 10, 11 and 12.

At first he seemed to be following Racee and Phoenix around, but he soon settled himself independently.

He dispersed from this area of the property in August when the others were dispersing, but then was often seen in section 8 and in bloodwood gully.  He was last seen here on 20 October and spent a total of 95 days at Koala Gardens.  We hope he found a good home with lots of food.

summer koala
Jordan eating eucalyptus leaves

JORDAN

still holds his place as the alpha male of the colony.

There have been quite a lot of males on the property during 2019, yet the number of sightings of Jordan remains quite stable.

He has a large area to cover and so has to move more often.  He has participated in a research project and there will be some interesting data to report once the final results of his movements are mapped.

He was seen on the property 78 times, which is more than last year, even though sightings were lower in Nov and Dec.

He weighs 8.5kg and is one very strong koala I can vouch as we had to catch him to collar him for the research project.

HUGO

is a large healthy male koala that spent 52 days of the year here.

He first arrived in April, but only spent a handful of days here, then came back in August.  That is interesting as the younger koalas began dispersing in the second week of August, and yet this big fella was arriving.

That goes to show that ‘dispersing’ goes in both directions.  Some koalas will leave here, but other koalas will also arrive.

Hugo has spent a lot of time seeming as though he has been following Racee, so it is possible he is the father of the new joey that will have gone into pouch in 2020.

hugo koala
newman koala

NEWMAN

is another of the young maturing males that has spent some time here.

He has often been seen following Stevie, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he is the father of her new joey that will have gone into pouch in 2020.

He is a dark colour and not as large and round as Hugo, but still a good sized, and well-muscled fella.

He was first seen here late in June and has averaged being on the property 1 – 2 times per week since then.

This means he has been seen a total of 33 days.

TUCKER

is another young maturing male and he has popped in and out of the property since he was first seen in May 2018.

The pattern on his nose is distinctive making him very easy to identify.

He came back onto the property during February and March, then we gone all year until coming back for a good part of December.

This goes to show that there is viable koala habitat in the area as he returned looking healthy and well fed.

He spent a total of 23 days on the property in 2019

tucker koala
Beau koala

BEAU

is yet another of the young maturing males that has spent some time here.

He first came onto the property in August 2018, following Stella (first joey born to Maxine).  

He has usually been found in sections 9, 10 and 11 when he is here.

The last time he was seen was 28 July, so we hope he has found a safe place with lots of koala food.

This means he has been seen a total of 19 days.

DODGE

was hit by a car not far from Koala Gardens and treated at Friends of the Koala in Lismore.

He was released on the property on 1 July and was seen most days for the first week. 

He came and went, which means he was still crossing roads, and was last seen on 10 September.  Hopefully he has now settled somewhere safe – live a long life mate!

He spent a total of 17 days on the property in 2019

dodge koala
smokey koala

SMOKEY

is the 2019 joey of Racee and was named by facebook followers in September when the first local fires began.

We are still not sure if Smokey is a male or female, it’s a big mystery still!

On 6 December, Racee separated from Smokey for 3 days and she went somewhere else for that time to give birth to her next joey.  Since she returned Smokey has stayed around her, but is most often in a different tree so becoming completely independent.

Since that separation, Smokey has been seen independently a total of 12 days and we sure hope will stay around.

HOWZAT

 

came into the plantation at the northern end of the property on 5 July.

This plantation contains koala food trees that are cut to feed the koalas in care, but the wild colony members do also graze through the tasty leaves in there.

At first he seemed fine and was only here twice in July.  He began to come back during August and in the last week it became obvious he was unwell. 

On 29 August I took him into the care centre, but he sadly had chlamydial pneumonia and did not make it

He was seen 11 times on the property in 2019

howzat koala
angel koala

ANGEL

was a delightful xmas present, arriving on the property on 20 December and quickly winning hearts all around the world through facebook.

She has a very distinctive pattern on her nose and those huge ears are a constant source of delight – just look at that face!

In that last 11 days of the year she was found 9 days, even spending the last 3 days of the year in the huge red gums right beside my house.  There is nothing like looking out the kitchen window as the sun rises, and seeing a koala.

Angel is probably only around the age of Phoenix as she is a similar size, so is too young to have had any joey of her own yet.

We all hope she will settle in at Koala Gardens and become an important part of the colony.

LUCA

 

was reported on a busy road near Koala Gardens, in a 100 kph zone.

The people who spotted her kindly stopped and ensured she got off the road.  I went with another rescuer and we were able to get her into care for a vet check on 4 September. 

The good news is she had no apparent car injuries, and was in full health and around 2.5 years old.

On 7 September she was released onto the property and you can see her here looking down from a Tallowwood, free again.

She came and went 6 times until the last sighting of her on 15 September.  Stay safe and off those roads beautiful girl!

Luca koala
ryder koala

RYDER

arrived at Koala Gardens on 10 August which was an incredibly windy day.

I was surprised to find him blowing about in a callistemon tree which is a native, but not a usual koala tree at all.  However the next day he moved to a large red gum and was apparently healthy.

He then came and went from the property 6 times between August and 4 December, so it would seem he was searching for a place to call home.  We hope you found somewhere perfect mate.

STRETCH

 

was first seen here on 12 July.

She was hanging tight to the end of a branch and was stretched out unable to move as Newman was also in the tree.  Thus her name was chosen and once she got out of the tree I didn’t see her for some time.

However she has come and gone from the property 6 times since then, the last sighting of her was on 26 December.  It would seem she is looking for somewhere to call home as she is only small, probably around the same age as Phoenix.

Maybe we will still be lucky and she decides to come and settle here.

stretch koala
greta koala

GRETA

was spotted here for the very first time on 13 May 2016.

She had an eye problem and was captured and taken in for treatment, but it turned out not to be chlamydia, but a tear duct issue.  She was released here and went on to have a joey in 2017.  At this point she was around 12 years old.

She was seen less frequently, and I thought maybe she was gone, but on 7 July 2018 she came back, just for one day with another joey.

Then on 15 February, at 14 years old she returned again with another joey and was seen on the property 5 times. This is an amazing achievement for a wild koala of this age to still be breeding and successfully raising young.

DILLY

 

arrived on the property on 2 December and sadly I could see immediately that she had a problem with her left eye.  Chlamydia is a huge problem disease for koalas.  

This is the first photo I got of her and she was very high in a red gum and we could not catch her.  So I had to wait and watch as she came and went from the property 4 times.

Finally she returned on 19 December and was in a sally wattle and a rescuer came out to help me capture her.  Sadly, when she was examined by a vet, the chlamydia had worked its way right through her reproductive system and she was unable to be saved.

Dilly koala

GLORY

was hit by a car only 500 metres north of the property boundary right back in Aug 2016.

She had a joey in pouch and recovered in care at Friends of the Koala and was then released on the property.

She only stayed here for 2 days, and I never saw her again …

Until suddenly, on 5 November there she was.  What a surprise to see her again after more than 3 years!  

She was then seen 4 times between then and 9 December, so who knows what 2020 will hold for her.

It really goes to show that a koala can leave here and seem to be gone but may be just living very close by after all.

JULIUS

 

was first seen here on 29 July.

He is a nice round, fat, healthy male koala.

He spent a total of 4 days on the property in 2019 between arriving and 4 September, so it would seem that he was a young male dispersing and looking for a new home.

We hope you found somewhere with lots of great food and some lovely girls mate.

julius koala
Nick koala

NICK

is the beautiful 2019 joey of Stevie.

It was decided that a Fleetwood Mac theme was in order and so he is Stevie’s Nick.  This gave the facebook followers naming him quite a giggle as the name was voted in.

He separated from Stevie on 17 December, but he is usually not too far away from her, but always now in a separate tree.

Stevie will have a new joey in pouch, and so it is time he works things out for himself.  I think he looks quite a lot like his brother Frankie, who is his brother (probably a different father as koalas don’t necessarily mate with the same male each year)

 

This means he was seen on his own a total of 4 days as the year drew to a close.

BLISS

 

arrived here as a mature koala.  

Just look at the size of those upper arms!  She is a big, strong girl.

I don’t know why she would be moving through at this time of the year, however maybe she has always lived quite close to the property boundary and so is a close neighbour.

 

She spent a total of 3 days on the property from 23 July – 25 July.

I’d love to have a big girl like her move in and raise some joeys here, come on back girl!

bliss koala
krystal koala

KRYSTAL

turned up at the very top south-western corner of the property on 25 September.

It was interesting that I hadn’t seen Phoenix in quite a while, but suddenly she was in the very next tree.  

You can see Krystal has a joey sitting in her lap, so she is at least 3 years old.

She came back through on 29 September and hasn’t been seen since, so just the 2 visits from her.

 

We hope she has a safe home with lots of food close by.

BERTIE

just showed up once on 8 December.

I must say that we all agreed he looked a bit like a toy koala that had been tossed in the back of the closet, then dragged around for a while.

It is likely he is an older fella, but we really need to check the wear on the back teeth to age a koala.  This is not easily done in the wild!  OK it’s not done at all, you need them at a vet and under anaesthetic.

Hopefully this fella is a neighbour and maybe we will see him again.

bertie koala
bruno koala

BRUNO

must have just been passing through as he was only ever seen the once on 14 August.

He is a lovely big, mature round male that is exactly what we like to see.

I hope he has a safe home with lots of food.

 

 

DASH

was named because of how fast he moved through the property on 25 August.

I had been out spotting the koalas early morning and got this photo.

I had visitors a couple of hours later and we went out for a walk to see him and he was nowhere to be found. 

I hope he has a safe place to live.

dash koala
forest koala

FOREST

was only spotted once on the property on 22 August.

He has the look of an older fella, but we remember it’s not always easy to tell the age just by looking at a koala.

He was in the plantation in at the northern end of the property having a good dinner browse and hasn’t been seen again.

Stay safe and I hope you have a good home with lots of food.

KARLA

is the first joey of Racee, born in 2017.

When they separated, Racee left Karla somewhere on another property, which is a common thing to happen.

She came back once on 29 April 2018 and I was very glad to see her as a healthy juvenile.

Well imagine my surprise when she appeared again, just once on11 May 2019, looking healthy and fat.

Hopefully she is living quite close by and has a good wild life.

karla koala
river koala

RIVER

was only ever seen once on 6 March 2018 during a very wet time.

It was a surprise to see her back again 15 January.

This is where having a file of nose patterns allows me to identify koalas, but you can see that for me to get a clear view to the end of her nose was not easy!

I had to use a combination of a few photos to be sure of the ID.

TED

popped in just once on 16 January.

Koala Gardens is situated in a natural koala corridor.

This means that this property has been used for tens of thousands or years or more, for koalas to move about the area and disperse.

So it isn’t really any wonder that each year there are a number of koalas seen here either just once, or just a handful of times as they move through the corridor.

ted koala
winston koala

WINSTON

was seen just once on 2 September.

He may be the last on the list of this page, but you can see he is a big strong fella indeed.

I hope he has a safe home with a lot of food.

He was seen at the very edge of the western boundary to the property, so it is likely he lives right next door so to speak.

I wonder if he sees me go past but I don’t see him on the other side of the fence … so many things we will never know.

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