Koala is an arboreal marsupial akin with kangaroos and wombats that carries the koala baby in their pouches. Mistakenly deemed as related to bears, this cuddly creature has a very exceptional breeding nature.
As koala bears‘ existence is at risk, we aim to provide vital information that concerns this endearing creature.
How Does Koala Breed Koala Baby?
Koalas breed only once every year. Male and female koalas usually mates between September and March. Standard gestation of female koala takes place at around 35 days. Succeeding the gestation period, a koala baby or commonly known as “joey” is born.
Female koala starts to breed when it reaches three to 4 years of existence and produces koala baby once every year for 12 years. According to experts, a female koala can mainly give birth to a maximum of five to six koala babies during her existence.
Brief Description of a Koala Baby
A koala baby is usually blind, with no visible hairs, weight not more than one grams and length not more than an inch long. Joeys crawl on their mother’s pouch automatically and fasten itself on the two nipples and take milk for the whole 6 moons.
At this time, a koala baby gradually develops their fur, eyes, and ears, and starts to explore outside its mother’s pouch upon maturity. Greatest of the time, Joey can be seen riding on their mother’s back and feeds with milk and eucalyptus leaves for one whole year.
Unless replaced by a novel joey, the koala babe stays inside their mother’s pouch. If the koala mother has not produced a new koala baby every year, the joey remains in her bag longer moreover, becomes an excellent opportunity to stay alive.
The best stuff about joeys is that though they have grown mature, both male and female koalas remain within the area from where their mother resides. Matured koala babies only explore on other trees by themselves after two to four years.
Koala Child To Maturity
Female koalas reach full maturity in about two years, while male koalas are in the third and fourth years. Matured koalas can independently survive and find a tree owned solely by them. Koalas do not share trees. Usually, his or her habitat dictates that there must be one tree for each koala. Thus, it is understandable that koalas need large areas of trees to survive.
The nature of the koala bear’s breeding system is exceptional. However, due to humanity’s abuse to their territories or habitat, koala gradually reduces its number. Hence, to continuously produce several koala babies and preserve these cuddly creatures’ existence, support the government and organizations that aid in koalas survival.
All About Baby Koalas
With their rounded fluffy ears, bright button eyes, and little snub nose, baby koalas are an adorable sight to behold when they start peeking out of their mother’s pouch at about six months old. Like a baby kangaroo, a baby koala is also called a joey.
Native to Australia, koalas are marsupials, or pouched mammals, and give birth to their young while still in their embryonic stage and about the size of a peanut. The tiny baby clambers up its mother’s stomach and into her pouch, safely feeding and growing until it is large enough to venture out into the world.
Mother koalas even have muscles in their bags they can use to tighten the pouch, so baby doesn’t fall out while mom is climbing about high up in the tall eucalyptus trees of the Australian bush.
What are the Koalas Life Cycles?
Koalas give birth from the middle of spring through summer and early autumn (from October to May in the Southern Hemisphere), after a gestation period lasting 33-35 days. Female koalas give birth to just one joey (although twins occur occasionally), which attaches to one of her two teats/nipples and suckles continually for the remainder of its time in her pouch.
As koalas young have a long dependent period, female koalas usually only breed every second year as the mother’s milk has a low energy production rate. Female koalas lactate for up to 12 months.
At seven weeks, the joey’s sex can be determined; by 13 weeks, it weighs around 1.8oz (50 grams), and its eyes begin to open. At 26 weeks, the fully furred joey begins to poke its head out of the pouch.
As her baby approaches six months old, the mother begins to prepare for its eucalyptus diet by predigesting leaves.
By the time the joey emerges from its pouch, it weighs around 11-18oz (500 grams) and clings to its mother’s back or stomach for support until it is about a year old, learning to climb by grabbing at branches.
Gradually, the baby koala spends more and more time away from its mother, returning to the comfort of her pouch to sleep or if the weather is cold or rainy.
When the mother koala falls pregnant again, she displays aggressive behavior towards her previous joey to permanently sever the relationship.
Young female koalas tend to leave their mothers’ home range voluntarily and establish their home range nearby, while young males are often forced to search for their home range and mates at a further distance.
For a young male, finding a home range can be severe as more significant, more mature males will prevent him from gaining access to females until he reaches his peak weight at the age of four or five.
Young male koalas can spend up to three years living this transient lifestyle until they can establish their home range – and start to breed baby koalas of their own.