Strzelecki Koala

By Marie James

Koala hiding in bushes on the ground

This is a Strzelecki Koala. It is unique and very special because unlike most koalas in Victoria it has a diverse genetic makeup. The Strzelecki Koala’s genes are more likely to better help the species survive any future environmental events but only if it is helped now. Recently fires and storms in the Strzelecki Ranges and through South Gippsland have affected the habitat and lives of our Strzelecki Koala.

I wonder why this Strzelecki Koala is hiding in the bushes near the Morwell National Park? Where is it going? Perhaps it wants to find a better tree to laze in or to look for a mate?

It is not often that people see a koala on the ground. Koalas need to walk around their habitat, to visit their favourite trees and to find a mate when it is mating season, which is November to February.

Koalas are in great danger whenever they are on the ground. This Strzelecki Koala is sitting near a road so it could get run over. It is no longer in the National Park so dogs and feral animals could attack it. This koala is also near a farm and cattle have been known to harm koalas when they cross pasture land. Koalas, like other native animals, need vegetation corridors to help provide safer travel.

How can we help this koala and other Strzelecki Koalas?

  1. Whenever travelling on roads in the Churchill and its’ surrounding district watch out for koalas crossing the road. Koalas are nocturnal animals so they mostly travel at night but can also roam during the day. SLOW DOWN AND BE AWARE!
  2. If you see an injured koala, assist the animal. Contact the Wildlife number for help.
    ( 03 84007300 or )
  3. If you see a Strzelecki Koala around your neighbourhood or scats from a koala let the SKAT team know about it by emailing your information to This team is collecting data about the Strzelecki Koala and needs your help to get more protection for our precious Strzelecki Koala. Please look at their website for other things that you can do.
  4. Some fun stuff:

    How many different words can you make using the letters in “STRZELECKI KOALA” ?

    What value would each of your words be if A=1 to Z=26?