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Factors affecting reproduction in the female Koala (Phascolarctos Cinereus)
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posted on 06.02.2019by Kathrine Ann Handasyde
The koala, Phascolarctos cinereus, is a seasonal breeder and the females are capable of producing one young each year. However, in many koala populations fertility among females is low. The aim of this study was to investigate the causes of low reproductive success in female koalas, and to suggest procedures for the management of populations with low fertility. The main study was conducted between 1982 and 1984 on two island populations in Western Port Bay, Victoria. One on French Island had a high rate of reproductive success and the other, on Phillip Island had a low rate of reproductive success. Additional data were collected from a population in the Brisbane Ranges National Park, Victoria. A correlation was established between habitat and low reproductive success. On Phillip Island a sub-population of koalas feeding exclusively on Eucalyptus globulus foliage had the lowest reproductive success. Animals feeding on E.viminalis and E.ovata had the highest reproductive success, and the fertility of animals feeding on a mixture of the three species was intermediate.