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In nature, koalas are found only on the Australian continent.  Even within the continent their range is limited, however.  Koalas can only be found on the eastern coast of Australia (see map below), where abundant forests are present.  The change in climate of the Australian continent over the last 100,000 years, along with the arrival of the Aborigines populations that hunted koalas, has led to this sparse distribution.  Fossil remains have been found in northeastern South Australia and the southwestern corner of West Australia, that currently do not have koala populations.       

Koalas live in eucalypts forests.  The animals have a tendency to choose the eucalypts trees with the largest diameters and highest nitrogen concentrations (Moore and Foley).  The types of eucalypts trees present also determine where koala populations are present.  The manna gum (Eucalyptus viminalis) is the species of choice in southern Victoria and South Australia.  Forest red gum (E. tereticornis) or river red gum (E. camaldulensis) are the dominant habitats for the koalas in the parts further north (Lee and Martin 23-25).       



The range of the koala is limited to the forested eastern coast.  The range of the koala has been limited because of massive deforestation throughout the continent due to urbanization.