AUSTRALASIAN Temperate Forest

The unusual and endemic mammals of the Australian temperate forest and woodlands... 


Order Diprotodontia

Family Phascolarctidae: Koalas

The Koala feeds mostly on the leaves of about 30 species of Eucalyptus trees.

With such a low nutrient diet, Koalas spend a lot of their lives asleep; they are usually resting for 20 hours out of every day.

Koalas two opposable digits on their 'hands', enabling grip on branches. Another adaptation to climbing and holding onto trees are their sharp claws! So even though they look calm and cuddly, don't try to pick one up, or they will scratch you with those claws!

Family Vombatidae: 'Wombats'

This family includes three species of living wombat.

Vombatus ursinus, 'Common Wombat' (captive).

Family Pseudocheiridae: Ringtails

As suggested by the name, Ringtails have a tail that is often held curled, and are usually not as fluffy as 'brushtails'.

Pseudocheirus occidentalis, 'Western Ringtail Possum' (Busselton).

Family Phalangeridae: Brushtails

Trichosurus vulpecula, 'Common Brushtail Possum' (Busselton).

Family Macropodidae

(Whiteman Park).

'Western Grey Kangaroo' (Dryandra).

Setonix brachyurus, 'Quokka', (Rottnest Island, Australia). Endemic to the south west of Australia. Most commonly seen on Rottnest island, where they are habituated to people and hang around the restaurants.

Placental mammals

Order Chiroptera: Bats

Family Pteropodidae: Flying Fox, Fruit bats

Pteropus poliocephalus, 'Grey-headed Flying Fox' (Sydney Botanical Gardens, Australia).

Thinking of travelling again after everything settles down? One of the first expeditions I am booked to work on is the NZ sub-Antarctics with Silversea Expeditions and Australia with Coral Expeditions. And here is a shortened version of one of my lectures in a warmer part of the world.