KOALA FACT SHEETSTATUS: Vulnerable. DESCRIPTION: Koalas have soft, wool-like fur that is gray above and white below. Their fur is mostly white on the underside below the neck, and their ears have long white hairs on the tips. The koala resembles a bear, but is actually a marsupial, a special kind of mammal which carries its young in a pouch. SIZE: Koalas are rather small, round animals. They weigh about 30 pounds and on average grow to be 2 feet tall. POPULATION: There are fewer than 100,000 koalas. LIFESPAN: Koalas can live as long as 17 years, although high mortality rates (due to car fatalities and dogs) for males lower their life expectancy to 2 to 10 years. RANGE: The koala's historic range stretches across Australia. Today they can be found only in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, and South Australia. HABITAT: Koalas prefer to live in eucalyptus forests, coastal islands, and low woodlands. FOOD: Koalas consume eucalyptus leaves and bark from 12 different eucalyptus tree species. They also consume mistletoe and box leaves. BEHAVIOR: Nocturnal mammals, koalas sleep for up to 16 hours a day. They are arboreal, which means that they live in trees. They do not live in big groups but rather prefer to be alone. Females are solitary and occupy distinct home ranges that they rarely leave. In the more fertile areas, these ranges overlap; in areas where suitable food trees are scarce they tend to be larger and more exclusive. Males are not territorial, but do not tolerate one another, particularly not during the breeding season: dominant individuals attack subordinate ones, and most adult males carry scars on their face, ears and forearms as a result. The koala is almost entirely arboreal. It does not make nests, but sleeps in a tree fork or on a branch. It climbs using its powerful claws for grip, usually moving quite slowly but can climb rapidly when needed.