Endangered Species: Koala

A Christiansburg Elementary Project
Submitted by Michael Christiansburg Elementary School
Christiansburg, VA, U.S.A.

koala
Koala

Photographer Unknown

Why Study This Topic? What Was Already Known Search for Information Description of Plant or Animal Habitat Requirements
Adaptations Reasons for Endangerment Restoration Actions What Was Learned Conclusions from Research

Why Study This Topic?

  The reason I chose the koala is I want to find out how the koala eats and what it eats. I also want to know where it sleeps and how it sleeps. I wonder what the koala does the rest of the day and what it looks like. For my report,I also need to know what its young look like, how long it stays with its mother, and how big it gets. I want to know what its habitat is, and how it grows and lives in our polluted world. I'm also interested in the koala, because it is an endangered species, and it's important to save these creatures and their habitats. People shouldn't burn down there habitat or clear their habitat, because animals were here before humans, and when people kill other animals, they will eventually destroy themselves. Then, future generations people might not be able to see koalas and pandas in the wild. In fact, scientist predict in 30 years the only pandas and koalas people will be able to see will be in zoos.
 

What Was Already Known

  I already knew the koala ate eucalyptus leaves . I knew its young were born and then crawled into there mother's pouch and stayed there for seven months. I also knew that they live in Austraila.
  I also know that the reason for their endangerment is that humans pour waste into rivers and clear land by chopping down their tree homes. Their home, the eucalyptus tree is a tree humans kill by engraving there intials in it.

Search for Information

  I searched in many different areas. A couple of them are the "Koala Home Page" which was informational and had many more links such as "KOALAS KOALAS KOALAS". Another reference is the World Book Encycolpedia which had three paragraphs that supplyed me with information for parts A,B,and C . I had one more reference which is my brain, and it didn't give me enough information. Using it, I knew enough information to start this first report.
  Some of my probblems that I encountered were trying to find information on the Internet, and finding an encycolpedia that had the koala in it. Besides,it was hard to think and remember the information I knew and put it down on paper.

Description of Plant or Animal

  The koala's size is 25 to 30 inches in length, and it weighs about 30 pounds. Its head shape is a rounded with bear-like ears and body and with a hairless oval nose. The koala's color is a gray body with a white belly.
  The baby koala is born hairless, but it starts to look like its parents at the age of one and a half.

Habitat Requirements

  The koala's food is eucalyptus leaves which the koala loves to eat, but it doesn't eat the green part. It chews the eucalyptus oils out of the leaves.
  The koala also eats gum leaves, because koalas have to have something else besides eucaplytus leaves to eat. The koala particulary likes messmate,swampgum, peppermint,mahogany, and ormannagum. Another favorite food is Sydney bluegum.
  The koala hardly ever drinks water, because of the eucalyptus leaves and because the word koala means "no water".
  The koala takes shelter in eucalyptus trees, and it sleeps in the "v"s of of the trees.
  The koala marks there territory by scraping its claws against the trees. When another koala comes around, it will fight.

Adaptations

  The koala's natrual enemies are or were humans hunting them for their fur. Recently, a diease called chamydia has dcreased the koala's numbers. Chamydia can cause blindness and pneumonia in the koala.
  The koala have some interesting adaptions such as long arms, and curved claws that make sure that it has a good grip. It has a vice-like grip with its first two and last three fingers. Its "hand"is far more developed than those of possums.
 

Reasons for Endangerment

  The koala's home is either being chopped down or burned and logging roads dot its habitat. As farmers clear more and more land that belongs to the koala, dingo, hawks and other preying animals kill off the koala. One example, is that factories with harmful discharge finds its way into rivers,streams, and ponds.
  Another problem are products that don't decompose well or don't decompose down at at all. Still another problem is people dump litter everywhere that affects its habitat. For example, sometimes dumps overflow and the company expands the dump wider until it takes away the koala's home in Austraila.
 

Restoration Actions

  The actions that should be taken are that people must stop polluting the earth, because it's the only one we have, and humans should restrict littering.

What Was Learned

  I learned about the koala's backgroung. For example, it lives in Austraila, and it eats eucalyptus and gum leaves. It also lives in the eucalyptus "v"s in the middle of the tree. The koala's features are that it has long arms with a hand far more developed than the possums.

Conclusions From Research

  The research benefits to me are that I am more aware by recognizing the importance of keeping its habitats. It also helped me make my research skills better, and I am more aware about how to do research. I also learned that my human responsiblity is not to pollute the earth and not to do anything harmful its creatures. Another benefit from my research is that my confidence level has risen by learning to do research and by becoming more aware of our precious world. This exprience has also been wonderful and helpful, especially doing these questions, even though A and B were hard. The exprience has helped a lot.
  I also learned how to find information from the Internet such as "KOALAS KOALAS KOALAS" Home Page, World Book Ecycolpedia, and my brain.

Bibliography

World Book Encolpedia (1993).Koala,Scott Fetzer Company, Chicago, pages 361,362
"http://www.aaa.com.au/Koala.html" Koala Home Page
Wild Animal Encolpedia (1991). Koala,The Macmillan Company,New York, pages 267,268.

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Christiansburg Elementary
Last updated on March 12, 1997