agriculture and urban development have not only reduced
the area available to Koalas, but added other dangers.
The koala's habitat has been criss-crossed by roads, resulting
in many road kills and attacks by neighboring pet dogs
are frequent. Disease, too, has taken its toll on the
furry, gray koala lives high in the tops of eucalyptus
trees. Now a protected species, it is still threatened
by the loss of habitat due to seasonal brush fires. While
it looks like a small bear, the koala is actually a marsupial
whose hands and feet are specially adapted for climbing
trees. When it descends to the ground, it shuffles along
awkwardly on its short, stocky legs.
koala lives almost exclusively in the top branches of
eucalyptus trees. Its strong legs and sharp claws help
it to grip the tree trunks. A nocturnal animal, the koala
feeds on the young shoots and leaves on high branches,
and spends the day sleeping curled up in the tree.