Koala populations are declining, and a contributing factor is stress, which can lead to greater susceptibility to disease. Koalas need about twenty hours of rest daily to remain healthy and unstressed. During the summer of 2014 I spent thirteen weeks with the Koala Research Center observing koalas’ responses to audible disturbances, principally those caused by humans. My two observation sites were Mt. Byron, a “disturbed” site with farm lands and pastures; and St. Bee’s Island, a protected national park, my “undisturbed” site. Using radio tracking equipment, I found and observed wild koalas, noting audible disturbances and the koalas’ reactions to the noise. My observations showed that koalas in the disturbed site responded more frequently to noise than did those in the undisturbed site. This information will help in management and protection of the remaining populations of koalas.
UNH Undergraduate Research Journal
Dr. Andrew Conroy and Dr. Alistair Melzer
Durham, NH: Hamel Center for Undergraduate Research, University of New Hampshire
Kinsella, Galina, "Effects of Audible Human Disturbances on Koala (Phascolarctos Cinereus) Behavior in Queensland, Australia and Implications for Management" (2015). Inquiry Journal 2015. 7.