Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) eating leaves, southeast Queensland © Doug Gimesy / WWF-Aus

Koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) eating leaves, southeast Queensland © Doug Gimesy / WWF-Aus

8 native trees you can plant to help koalas in the Northern Rivers

27 Sep 2022

Keywords
  • forests
  • koalas
  • threatened species

 

Did you know there might be koalas living near you? Discover what animals need protection in your local area using

WWF-Australia’s ‘My Backyard’ tool, and find out how well they’re being cared for.

 

Discover who lives in your backyard

 

Did you know the daily schedule of a koala centres around two main events? Sleeping and eating! Both activities have a common need - the right kind of tree.

 

Koalas are record holders when it comes to sleeping, but spending up to 18 hours a day dozing doesn’t require just any kind of tree to perch on. Adult male koalas can weigh up to 14kg, so branches need to be sturdy enough to comfortably hold their weight and close enough to food, so they need only leap across when foraging. In saying that, of the 800 native species of eucalypt trees found in Australia, less than 50 are included in a koalas diet. These fussy eaters can feed on up to 1kg of eucalyptus leaves in 24 hours, so finding enough food to forage on can be tricky when you’re that picky. 

 

Annie the koala finds a tree after being released into the wild © Zoos Victoria

The destruction of koalas’ homes is a major contributor to koalas being uplisted to Endangered on Australia’s east coast. Planting native trees is essential to help bring them back from the brink, so if you live near koalas, you can help! From growing a single tree in your backyard, to scattering seeds and building a new home for wildlife on your property, you can make a difference for koalas.

 

Here are eight native trees you can plant to help koalas in the Northern Rivers region. If you live elsewhere, ask your local tree nursery for species suitable to your local habitat:

 

Primary koala food and habitat trees in the Northern Rivers:

Forest red gum (Eucalyptus tereticornis)

Tallowwood (Eucalyptus microcorys)

 

The leaf of a tallowwood tree (eucalyptus microcorys) © CC BY-SA 2.0 Harry Rose / Flickr

Swamp mahogany (Eucalyptus robusta)

 

Secondary koala food and habitat trees in the Northern Rivers:

Narrow-leaved red gum (Eucalyptus seeana)  

Grey gum (Eucalyptus biturbinata)

Grey box (Eucalyptus moluccana)

 

The leaves of a grey box tree (eucalyptus moluccana) © CC BY-SA 2.0 Harry Rose / Flickr

 

Yellow box (Eucalyptus melliodora)

Craven grey box (Eucalyptus largeana)

 

Northern Rivers residents can find these trees at nurseries such as the Eastern Forest Nursery and Friends of the Koala. If you live elsewhere, look up your local nursery to find trees to plant for koalas around your area.

Want to do more to help koalas? Here’s how you can get involved:

Adopt a koala to help protect and safeguard the future of this iconic animal.
• Discover if koalas or other animals need protection in your local area using WWF-Australia’s ‘My Backyard’ tool, and find out how you can help.
• Tune in to Scat Chat with WWF-Australia to learn about the weird and wonderful ways that animal scat (including koala poo!) is being used to help wildlife conservation!
• Keep an eye out for upcoming community treeplanting events with organisations like Bangalow Koalas.

• Find out how we can regenerate Australia’s wildlife by visiting wwf.org.au/wildlife 

Curious what other wildlife could be living in your backyard? Discover what animals need protection in your local area using 

WWF-Australia’s ‘My Backyard’ tool, and find out how well they’re being cared for.

 

Find out now

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