The koala (Phascolarctos cinereus, or, inaccurately, koala bear[a]) is an arboreal herbivorous marsupial native to Australia. It is the only extant representative of the family Phascolarctidae and its closest living relatives are the wombats. The koala is found in coastal areas of the mainland’s eastern and southern regions, inhabiting Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, and South Australia. It is easily recognisable by its stout, tailless body and large head with round, fluffy ears and large, spoon-shaped nose. The koala has a body length of 60–85 cm (24–33 in) and weighs 4–15 kg (9–33 lb). Pelage colour ranges from silver grey to chocolate brown. Koalas from the northern populations are typically smaller and lighter in colour than their counterparts further south. These populations possibly are separate subspecies, but this is disputed.
Koalas typically inhabit open eucalypt woodlands, and the leaves of these trees make up most of their diet. Because this eucalypt diet has limited nutritional and caloric content, koalas are largely sedentary and sleep up to 20 hours a day. They are asocial animals, and bonding exists only between mothers and dependent offspring. Adult males communicate with loud bellows that intimidate rivals and attract mates. Males mark their presence with secretions from scent glands located on their chests. Being marsupials, koalas give birth to underdeveloped young that crawl into their mothers’ pouches, where they stay for the first six to seven months of their lives. These young koalas, known as joeys, are fully weaned around a year old. Koalas have few natural predators and parasites, but are threatened by various pathogens, such as Chlamydiaceae bacteria and the koala retrovirus, as well as by bushfires and droughts
These photos were taken at a wild life sanctuary, in Perth Western Australia.
We have many glorious plants/bushes & trees here in Australia, some of course only flowering at certain times of the year. Here are just a couple that have been in flower just recently. (The Golden Wattle is one of my favourites)
The crested pigeon is a bird found widely throughout mainland Australia except for the far northern tropical areas. It is the only member of the genus Ocyphaps. There are only two Australian pigeon species that possess an erect crest, being the crested pigeon and the spinifex pigeon. The crested pigeon is the larger of the two species. The crested pigeon is sometimes incorrectly referred to as a topknot pigeon, however the topknot pigeon, or Lopholaimus antarcticus is a different species altogether, and has a red-brown crest that does not stand erect
While out today I managed to spot these two gorgeous native Western Australian Birds. Lucky I had my camera with me.
The Western Rosella (Platycercus Icterotis)
The Western Rosella is the smallest rosella and is usually seen in pairs or small parties. However, it is quiet and easily overlooked. The head neck and under body of males are mostly red, while those of females and juveniles are mottled red. The cheek patch is yellow or cream. The two subspecies may interbreed, with varying colour on the back. The flight is light and fluttery and less undulating than in other rosella species. This species is also known as the Yellow-cheeked or Stanley Rosella. Western Rosellas may damage fruit in orchards and were earlier killed as vermin. They are now protected from destruction, except with a special licence. They are possibly declining in the wheat belt from loss of woodland.
Twenty Eight Parrot (Australian Ringneck) (Barnardius Zonarius Psittacidae)
There are several different forms of the Australian Ringneck across its range and each appears slightly different, but they all have one feature in common — a yellow collar which stretches across the bird’s hind neck. Aside from appearing different from one another, birds of the different populations also sound different, with pronounced regional variation. For example, the subspecies in Western Australia is often referred to as the ‘Twenty-eight Parrot’ because its contact call is usually rendered as twenty-eight, with the call (and the name) is unknown in other parts of Australia.
Here in Australia we live with the threat of fire every day, during summer. Our natural bushland does thrive on these fires for its rejuvenation, but unfortunately many are lit purposely. Sadly wildlife and people’s homes come under a real threat of being destroyed. The photos here are of a local fire, possibly lit by arsonists the week before Christmas.
WA Christmas Tree or Nuytsia floribunda is a true mistletoe. It is a root parasite that does not grow directly on the host plant. It can grow to 10 meters in height.
This highly adaptable plant is able to survive in paddocks where all native vegetation has been removed and replaced exclusively by introduced grasses. Also despite its spectacular flowers and ornamental desirability for garden use, it will hunt down the roots of most plants within a 50 meter radius and unless they can quickly develop alternative roots, will die within a few years. Nuytsia floribunda is difficult to permanently remove, as they will rapidly re-grow their trunk if knocked over, providing the root system is not too badly damaged.
The WA Christmas Tree tends to flower over the Christmas period, but most young or small plants will not flower at all unless there has been a bushfire, when most will bloom prolifically.
While they will not make a good addition to the home garden, they are a visual pleasure in the bush over the Christmas period.
I believe that this is one of Western Australia’s most beautiful native trees.