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Tree Use by Individual Koalas in a Natural Forest


Mark A. Hindell and Anthony K. Lee


Department of Zoology, Monash University, Clayton, Vic. 3168.

 

ABSTRACT
The home ranges and species of trees used by 20 koalas in a forest containing six Eucalyptus spp. were determined. Eight of these koalas showed a preference for a tree species from those available within their home ranges. Four koalas preferred Eucalyptus viminalis, two E. ovata and two E. macrorhyncha. Preference for tree species was detected only where the preferred species was in low abundance within the animal's home range. These observations confirm that koalas may show individual differences in the species of food trees they prefer. Eucalyptus viminalis, the preferred species of this population, was the predominant tree species within the home ranges of 15 of the koalas. This may account for the lack of evidence of preference in the majority of koalas.