Tree Species Selection by Free-Ranging Koala Populations in Victoria
Mark A. Hindell, Kathrine A. Handasyde (nee Lithgow) and Anthony K. Lee
Department of Zoology, Monash University, Clayton, Vic. 3168.
This study examines the selection of tree species in free-ranging populations of koalas at Phillip I. and the Brisbane Ranges in Victoria. At both sites koalas were found almost exclusively in Eucalyptus spp., but occasionally utilized Acacia spp. Although koalas occurred in most Eucalyptus spp. available (all of three species at Phillip I., and five of six species at the Brisbane Ranges), both populations showed preferences for one or two species, especially E. viminalis. Individual koalas showed different preferences, but the majority preferred E. viminalis. Some occurred exclusively in other species (e.g. E. globulus) even when E. viminalis was close by. Further, koalas showed preference for individual trees within a species. There may be seasonal changes in use of tree species.