There are competing theories about how male koalas go about procreating. The ‘king koala’ theory proposes that a powerful male dominates breeding and ‘holds the fabric of koala society in the palm of his mighty paw’, to quote Koala expert Dr Bill Ellis. In contrast the ‘traveling salesman’ model suggests that well, it can be more opportunistic and egalitarian. I gather the ‘traveling salesman’ model is supported by DNA analysis but the ‘king koala’ believers have the numbers.
There are obviously significant implications for Koala conservation planning depending on the model used/applied.
It would also seem important for conservation planning that we know something about how many koalas there are in Australia and also where they are.
The Australian Koala Foundation claims there are fewer than 100,000 Koalas in Australia with numbers on the decline.
I get a total of 120,000 just by counting up a few know populations:
59,000 mulgalands of southwest Queensland,
25,00 southeast Queensland,
8,200 NSW North Coast, and
27,000 Kangaroo Island, South Australia.
According to Simon Baltais from the Wildlife Preservation Society the population in Redlands Shire (just south of Brisbane) is the premier koala population in Australia.” I wonder what he means?
I would be interested to know if anyone has any information regarding the size of the Koala population in Victoria? I gather it is/was huge? Has it recovered from the bushfires?
Also how many Koalas are there in the Pillaga-Goonoo forests of NW NSW?
I am right now trying to writing a piece on Koalas for the next IPA Review. Given the interest generated by my column in The Land some weeks ago.