Update from the Bush – a baby girl!

Here’s an update from our Koalas & Kangaroos IN THE WILD tour!

This is baby Moijerre. For years we have waited for a female joey we can monitor from birth through adulthood. And she might be the one!

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baby Moijerre, safely sleeping in her mother’s arms

In 2006 we met koala Pat as a 1 year old joey, on her mother’s back.  Pat became independent, but stayed in her mother’s home range.  So for the next 6 years we were able to watch the interactions between mother and daughter, and then, (wow!) the family life of mother, daughter and 3 grandsons!

Until now, Pat has been the only female joey that we’ve been able to monitor in this way.  Others have been born, but on the edges of our research area, and we haven’t seen them enough to get the information we need.

We met Carninje, Moijerre’s mum, in 2010.  At first she was nervous of us and when she produced a baby, they both hid from us.  We’re not even sure whether that baby was male or female.  We called that baby Keyeet.  He/she was born around January 2011 and became independent in late January 2012 – but disappeared.  Maybe Keyeet found another home range nearby, but outside of our research area.

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Carninje when we first met her, still nervous and trying to hide

By 2012 though, a change had come over Carninje.  She had accepted us.  She realised that our Koala Etiquette Rules meant that we always stay 10metres away from her, and that she can relax when she hears our tour groups approaching.  And the attitude of the mother affects the attitude of the child – so when Moijerre first appeared she was calm, relaxed and curious.

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one of our first views of baby Moijerre

We have had the joy of watching Moijerre grow up!  She is now 1 year old and independent. The great news is, so far, she is staying near her mum.  Fingers crossed – we are hoping for a repeat of the beautiful  mother-daughter relationship we had with Pat & Smoky.

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proud and beautiful!  Moijerre as a 1 year old independent young female

The primary purpose of our Koala Research Project in the You Yangs is to investigate long-term social behaviour in wild koalas.  Interactions between koalas of known relationship (mother/daughter, mother/son) are particularly fascinating because they might show a close link between related animals.  This kind of research takes many, many years but is critical to understanding and managing wild koalas.  We need this information desperately.  Koalas are becoming scarce in many areas, and their conservation is a high priority.

All this research is fully funded by our Koalas & Kangaroos IN THE WILD tour.  To learn more please come on this small group day tour – just by being there, you are helping us to help koalas!

Just in time for Mothers Day!

All the best from the Echidna Walkabout team – Janine, Roger, Caz, Jo, Martin, Bill, Paul, Mary, Donna, Mel, Brian, Scott and Kirby

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