Incorrectly referred to as 'bears' the native Koala is actually a mammal, giving birth to its young inside its protective pouch. The koala gets its name from the ancient aboriginal word meaning "no drink" because it receives over 90% of its hydration rom the Eucalyptus leaves, and only drinks when ill or in times of drought when their is not enough moisture in the leaves. These slow moving nocturnal creatures feed exclusively on certain varieties of gum leaves, consuming up to a kilo of leaves a day. Once found commonly across all of New South Wales, the Koala is now a vulnerable species, partly due to the depletion of the Eucalyptus leaves they feed on. Koalas are highly territorial and in stable breeding groups. They maintain their own long-term "home range" areas for shelter, food and places for social contact. In Australia there are over 600 types of Eucalypts, but koalas will only eat 40-50 varieties with only 10 being preferred. Assuming there is no habitat clearing, the area will support a group of koalas for its entire life.
Disease is also a major concern for koalas. Not only do they suffer skin cancer and leukeamia but chlamydia. The chlamydia organism causes blindness, pneumonia, urinary tract infections and reproductive tract infections, causing female infertility.