Koala – Phascolarctos cinereus & 100,000 Visitors

This is a short post about the koala. Make certain you read down to the end of the post for something very special to celebrate the 100,000th visitor to this blog. Thank you for all of the visits to my blog. I had no idea it would be such a success when I started it in 2012.

http://www.rasaint.net/ - Glitter Graphics

Koala - Phascolarctos cinereus

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Above is a photo of Sapphire the koala. She was born in 2011 to...


Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

and Blinky

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.


Did you notice Suzie had a large area on her breast much whiter than Blinky? Female koalas tend to have a larger, whiter area than males. You can see this on Sapphire as well. Seeing a koala up in a tree, you can often tell if it's a boy or girl from the breast area.

About Sapphire

Koalas can live  up to 13 to 18 years in the wild. Both Suzie and Blinky passed on in 2012. This left Sapphire alone.

Would she be sad?  Koalas in the wild are normally solitary, i.e. they live alone, and only mix socially about 15 minutes on average a day, except in breeding season (October to May). Because their diet of eucalyptus leaves is very poor in nutrition, they can spend around 20 hours a day sleeping. I don't think koalas would be sad in the way we might be when they have leaves to eat and a place to sleep.

It can take a human child 9 months to develop before being born but koalas only about 38 days before being born and making their way into the mothers' pouches. Once in the pouch, they continue growing and can spend 6 to 7 months before they are too big to stay in the pouch.

Along their life's journey in the pouch, when the koala joey is large enough it at first  sticks its head out of the pouch. As Sapphire grew, she spent more and more time out of Suzie's pouch.  I was there to record some of her life's journey.

Koalas in the Wild

Koalas in the wild are listed as vulnerable. That's one step from being endangered and means we must take steps to preserve them and help their numbers grow in the wild.

For koalas, one of the biggest dangers is habitat loss. As trees are cut down, groups of koalas can be isolated, known as fragmentation of habitat.

When their habitat is fragmented, they can face the dangers of crossing roads or attacks by dogs as they try moving  from one treed area to another. They can walk along the ground but prefer to stay in the trees. Below is a short video clip of Sapphire walking put together from a series of photos.

And now for a 100,000th Visitor celebration...

Sanctuaries such as Potoroo Palace rescue injured koalas and also have breeding programs to help keep koalas for our future. There are groups who concentrate on care for animals in the wild and educating people about our wildlife and environment. One such group is known as Backyard Buddies.

Each year Backyard Buddies contact me about their current fundraising goals. When I received the phone call towards the end of 2014, they explained for 2014 their goal was to raise funds to help animals in the wild. To do this, they sell special buddies and so, supporting such groups when I can, I purchased one of their buddies. Because of the amount of white, I suspect my buddy is female but am too polite to ask.


Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

Schools and students have permission to use this graphic for non-commercial, educational purposes.

The buddy is 30cm (1 foot) tall and doesn't yet have a name.

To celebrate the 100,000th visitor to my blog, the buddy pictured above wants to find a new home. All you will need to do is leave a comment, "Backyard Buddies",  in the comments section and I will carry out a random draw on March 1 this year.

There are some rules to remember...

1. Do not, in your comment, give any personal details. Safety online is very important. 

2. The buddy can only be won by a class or school and not by individuals.

3. Individual class members can leave a comment but only their class can win. Individual class members must have permission from their teacher in order to be included.

4. Your comment need only say, "Backyard Buddy". As all comments need my approval, your comment will not appear on my blog until the comment has been approved.

5. The eligible comments close at the end of February 28, 2015, allowance being made so all time zones reach midnight on that day.

6. The random number selector I use will select a number.  With the first comment received being number 1, each comment will be numbered consecutively. The comment corresponding to the random number will be deemed winner providing I can contact the school concerned.

Check on March 2 to see if your class or school is the winner. I will attempt to email your teacher, class or school to find a delivery address for your class or school. The buddy will be sent as a regular post parcel, air mail if the winner is outside Australia.

Upcoming other blogging milestones...

200th post - Some time this year I will make my 200th post on this blog.

3rd Birthday - On May 21, 2015 this year my blog will turn 3. 

9 thoughts on “Koala – Phascolarctos cinereus & 100,000 Visitors

  1. Mrs. Yollis and class

    Dear Mr. Mannell,

    Congratulations on your milestone! That is a fabulous achievement! I know what you mean about unexpected success and connections. The Internet is magical that way!

    We hope to adopt your Backyard Buddy for our class! Thank you for this informative post about koalas!

    Your friends,
    Mrs. Y♥llis and class
    Los Angeles, California

  2. The Blogging Hawks

    Dear Ross,

    Thank you for expanding our learning about koalas!

    Congratulations on 100000 visitors! We are SO excited for you! We feel SO grateful that you spend so much of your time responding to classroom blogs around the world and helping SO many children understand more about the world around them!

    We thought the video of Sapphire coming out of Suzie’s pouch was SO adorable! We learned a TON from your post about koalas!

    We did some research to find some possible names for your Backyard Buddy because we wanted to choose a name that would fit with koalas and Australia.

    We had a LONG list of possible names … it was hard to decide, so we had to whittle it down to two: Suzy Sunshine and Amethyst.

    Our final vote was for Suzy Sunshine. We think this fits because Australia is really hot and there’s lots of sunshine … and because Sapphire’s mom’s name was Suzie!

    Thank you for giving us the opportunity to enter your exciting contest … AND … the chance to celebrate your 100000th visit WITH you!

    The Blogging Hawks 🙂

  3. rossmannell

    Post author

    Well, despite being viewed many times, only two classes responded to the challenge on this post. There is only one koala so there must be a winner. My computer randomly selected number 2 so the koala will be going to The Blogging Hawks in Canada.

    Being only two entries, I have a bonus surprise to send each class. Each will receive a “Super Animals” set I collected through a local supermarket. The sets include a colouring/activity book plus two books containing collector cards of animals from around the world. The cards have bar codes you can swipe through a special reader included. You will be able to hear the sounds of the animals.

    I think you all know animals fascinate me. Thank you both classes for entering. 🙂

  4. The Blogging Hawks

    Hi Ross!

    Congratulations on your 100000th visitor! That’s a HUGE success and an AMAZING milestone. We may hit that number, on our OWN blog, in another hundred years! 😉

    We are SUPER happy and EXTREMELY grateful that we won your Backyard Buddy! We promise to take VERY good care of Suzy Sunshine … the ADORABLE Australian koala! We CAN’T wait to see the Super Animals set and try out the bar codes with the special reader! We’re happy that you are also going to send the other class a prize too … because that was really thoughtful of you!

    We all LOVE animals … just like YOU! Some of us are wondering what your MOST favourite animal is!

    Thank you, Ross, for the opportunity to enter this fun celebration and draw! We’ll let you know when Suzy Sunshine and the cards arrive! We are SO excited!

    The Blogging Hawks 🙂

    1. rossmannell

      Post author

      What is my MOST favourite animal?

      That would be a very hard question to answer if I had to say which of all. My most favourite animal is whatever animal I ma looking at/studying/photographing at the time.

      It could be…
      Porifera (sponges)
      Cnidaria (jellyfish, corals, anemones)
      Platyhelminthes (flatworms)
      Nematoda (round worms)
      Arthropoda (crustaceans, insects, spiders)
      Mollusca (snails, octpods, etc)
      Echinoderms (star fish, sea urchin)
      Chordata (mammals, birds, reptile)

      There are so many fascinating animals to see. You have probably heard about Australia’s poisonous snakes. I have seen a number of them and three in particular when I have been hiking. Did you know we have a poisonous jellyfish here? It’s called the blue ringed octopus and can be found in the lake near my home. While small, it’s bite can be deadly.

      Keep your eyes open to a world of fascination. 🙂

    1. The Blogging Hawks

      Hi Ross!

      Our BLOG is finally up and running again! We have written a VERY special post … JUST for YOU … about the VERY special care package that arrived for us!


      We LOVE Suzy Sunshine and the AMAZING books and card reader you have given us! They have ALL provided us with HOURS of entertainment and learning!

      Thank you SO much!

      The Blogging Hawks 🙂

  5. Roadrunners- Mrs. Todd

    We happened to be back with a new group of students looking for your post about Australia and saw your Koala post. It was very informative. Sorry we didn’t see it before the deadline.

    We recently did a report on kangaroo for our Global Festival and created a presentation in google classroom. We got to add pictures and information from our research. We are in second grade and most are 7 and 8 year olds. Our focus countries are Australia and England. Our teacher for our homeroom class is from England. She teaches us a lot about England then Mrs. Todd in Global Studies teaches us about Australia and we compare the two.

    Mrs. Todd said she had contacted you before about Australia and knew you had useful information on your blog. We really like the ones we looked at.

    Can you tell us more about the Outback, the stations and the schools? We read about radio schools on one website.

    2nd grade Roadrunners and Mrs. Todd

    1. rossmannell

      Post author

      Hello Roadrunners,

      I would be pleased to give you some information on the Outback. I will be preparing a post including some old photos I took in the 1990s when taking a group of families out to Uluru in Australia’s centre. I do have to prepare another post on gold and diamonds for another class first but your post should be up in one to two weeks. Australia is a huge country but smaller in area than USA yet it only has about one tenth of USA’s population. Being a very arid (dry) land most Australians live somewhere near the coast and mostly along the east coast.

      I taught in a small school in western NSW. It wasn’t quite in what we call the Outback but it was one of the most isolated schools in my state. It was 100km from the nearest town, served children from sheep and cattle stations (ranches), and was surrounded by open spaces, kangaroos, emus and many other animals.

      While I didn’t teach with School of the Air (radian school), I have met students of it. I’ll see if I can include information about it.

      Keep blogging. 🙂


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