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Austra
lian
Animal
s

Computer Applications

Name: Tara Glover


Class: 7ITB
Teacher: Mrs. Agnew
Due Date: 27/04/2015

Tara Glover 7ITB

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Tara Glover 7ITB

Contents
Koala....................................................................................................................................4
Habitat..............................................................................................................................4
Diet...................................................................................................................................4
Physiology.......................................................................................................................4
Breeding...........................................................................................................................5
Threats.............................................................................................................................5
land clearing.................................................................................................................5
Bushfires..........................................................................................................................6
Dieback............................................................................................................................6
Red Kangaroo......................................................................................................................7
Breeding...........................................................................................................................7
Diet...................................................................................................................................7
Habitat..............................................................................................................................7
Platypus................................................................................................................................7
Description.......................................................................................................................8
Breeding...........................................................................................................................8
Diet...................................................................................................................................8
Habitat..............................................................................................................................8
Threats.............................................................................................................................8
WIRES.........................................................................................................................8
References............................................................................................................................8

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Koala
The koala is a small bear-like, tree-dwelling, herbivorous marsupial
which averages about 9kg (20lb) in weight. Its fur is thick and usually
ash grey with a tinge of brown in places.
Habitat
'Habitat' refers to the types of bush land that koalas like to live in. They
are found in a range of habitats, from coastal islands and tall eucalypt
forests to low woodlands inland.
Koalas today are found in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and
South Australia. Their range extends from the Atherton Tableland west
of Cairns in Qld to islands off the coast of Victoria and South Australia
in the south, and west to central and western Qld, NSW and Victoria.
Diet
Koala's are very fussy eaters and have strong preferences for different
types of gum leaves, then the most important factor which make
habitats suitable are the presence of tree species preferred by koalas
(usually eucalypts, but also some non-eucalypts) growing in particular
associations on suitable soils with adequate rainfall.
In Australia there are over 600 types of eucalypts, but koalas will not
eat a large proportion of these. Within a particular area, as few as one,
and generally no more than two or three species of eucalypt will be
regularly browsed while a variety of other species, including some noneucalypts, appear to be browsed occasionally or used for just sitting or
sleeping in.
Different species of eucalypts grow in different parts of Australia, so a
koala in Victoria would have a very different diet from one in
Queensland. Koalas like a change, too, and sometimes they will eat
from other trees such as wattle or tea tree.

Physiology
The Koala is well suited to life in the trees. The koala has an excellent
sense of balance and its body is lean and muscular and its quite long,
strong limbs support its weight when climbing. The arms and legs are
nearly equal in length and the koala's climbing strength comes from
the thigh muscle joining the shin much lower than in other animals. Its
paws are especially adapted for gripping and climbing with rough pads
on the palms and soles helping it to grip tree trunks and branches.
Koalas have a thick woolly fur which protects them from both high and
low temperatures. It also acts like a 'raincoat' to repel moisture when it
rains. Koalas are mostly nocturnal animals and they are most active
during the night and at dawn and dusk.

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Breeding
The main characteristics of marsupials which differentiate them from
other mammals is that they give birth to immature young which then
develop further in a pouch. The word 'marsupial' comes from the Latin
word marsupium, meaning 'pouch.' Most, but not all marsupials have a
pouch in which to raise their young. The breeding season for koalas
runs roughly from September to March. This is a time of increased
activity, and sound levels increase as males bellow more frequently.
This is also when the young from the previous year are weaning from
their mothers.
Threats
Since European settlement, approximately 80% of Australia's eucalypt
forests have been decimated. Of the remaining 20% almost none is
protected and most occurs on privately-owned land.
The main causes of loss of habitat include:
land clearing
Clearing of the land for expansion of human settlement for
Agriculture
Housing
Mining
Forestry
Factories
roads
The results of this would include:
loss of habitat
increased disturbance by humans
injury or death from traffic
injury or death from dogs and cats
effects of garden pesticides getting into waterways
increased competition for food and territory because of
overcrowding
increased stress on animals, making them more susceptible to
disease.
It has also been documented that over 4000 koalas are killed
each year by dogs and cars. It easy to see that the biggest threat
to the Koala population is the human.

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Bushfires
Koala populations in fragmented areas of bush land are at great risk of
localized extinction from a single fire which may wipe out an entire
habitat. Bushfires are extremely common in the summer months.
Dieback
Changes in the balance of the ecosystem can lead to dieback of trees.
The cutting back of the original vast forests has created patches of
forest separated from each other by treeless land. Small, isolated
patches of forest are prone to dieback. Dieback is a general term for
the gradual dying of trees due to factors such as land degradation,
leaching of soil nutrients, changes in the composition of vegetation
communities, rising water levels underground, salivation of the soil,
erosion caused by wind and water, exposure to weather and excessive
defoliation (or loss of leaves).
The underlying cause of all these factors appears to be the clearing
and disturbance of forests. Seventy five percent of the main koala food
tree species are declining in numbers as a result of this.

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Red Kangaroo
Macropus rufus
Status: Common
The red kangaroo is the largest of all the marsupials and live in family
groups on the plains and deserts of Central Australia.
Description Male red kangaroos have short dense woolly fur and are
pale to brick red in colour, while the females are blue-grey, though in
some areas both sexes are red. Both have distinctive white below. The
muzzle is dusky, naked and sharply defined with a distinctive black and
white patch on each side. Red kangaroos travel with head down. Males
weigh up to 90kg, the females are smaller at 35kg (also known as the
"Blue-fliers"). Males can stand over 1.8m tall.
Breeding
Kangaroos breed throughout the year. Newly born young, known as
joeys, weigh less than 1 gram and make their way into the pouch
unassisted by their mother.
Diet
Green herbage, including grasses and herbivorous plants.
Habitat
Red kangaroos are found in central Australia and prefer open plains
with scattered shade trees under which they rest during the day. They
are semi-nomadic preferring to graze mostly at night but can extend to
late evening and early morning

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Platypus
Ornithorhyncus anatinus
Status: Platypus are common but vulnerable.
The platypus is a monotreme, like the echidna but are extremely
specialized for an aquatic lifestyle in fresh water. For many years,
platypus were hunted for their thick fur. Platypus are mostly nocturnal
and solitary animals.
Description
Platypus have a broad soft leathery bill, dense water-repellent brown
fur, webbed feet and clawed toes. It uses its webbed front feet for
swimming, folding the web under its paw to walk. The Platypus spends
much of its time in the water so its eyes are on the top of its head and
the nostrils open on top of its bill. When submerged, the platypus
closes its eyes, nostrils and ear holes relying on the touch receptors on
the skin of the bill for its information.
The platypus's tail is broad and flat, its hind feet are used to help steer
and brake while swimming The hind ankles of the male have a
venomous spur.
Breeding
Mating starts on August in the warmer areas and as late as October in
Tasmania. Females lay two eggs and incubate the eggs by curling her
body around them as she lies on a nest of grasses at the end of the
burrow. Eggs hatch in about 2 weeks and young are fed for four to five
months on milk that secretes from pore ducts of the mammary glands
on the mothers abdomen.
Diet
Platypus eat a variety of invertebrates such as crustaceans and
molluscs. They collect food from the river bottom and store it in cheek
pouches until the reaching the surface. The platypus then floats on its
back chewing the food between horny grinding plates in its mouth.
Habitat
The platypus lives in burrows on the banks of fresh water streams and
lakes of Eastern Australia including Tasmania. It sleeps most of the day
in its burrow feeding mainly around dawn and dusk. Local climate may
change this behaviour.

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Threats
WIRES looks after platypus which are sick, orphaned or injured due to
lacerations from outboard motors, poisoning from pollution,
entanglement from netting and habitat loss.

References
The Koala Foundation, 2002, viewed, 7 May 2015
http://www.savethekoala.com/
Kangaroo, wires, 2002, viewed 7May 2015
http://www.wires.au.com/animals/kangaroo.htm
Platypus, wires, 2002, viewed 7 May 2015
http://www.wires.au.com/animals/emu.htm

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