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All photos on this site were taken on various Koala expeditions. Photographing koalas in the wild is not easy, because they blend in very well with the natural bush, their home. CQ KOALA VOLUNTEERS photographers are very protective of the images and ask you to use them for educational purposes only.
If you wish to use the images for commercial use you must contact the

This koala is a sub-adult. She has left her mother and is making her own way into the forest. You can see a small notch in her left ear where researchers have collected a small piece of her tissue for DNA analysis.

Volunteers secure the captured koala in a sack to allow the researchers to measure and take samples. The koalas are also fitted with radio collars and have their general well being checked.

While the koalas are restrained the researchers hurry to gather all the information they need. Once secure in the bag the koala will become calm and curious about what’s going on around them.

This male koala has been fitted with ear tags and a radio collar. We fit all our study koalas with three ear tags so we can individually identify them, males are fitted with two in their left ear and females are fitted with two in their right ear.

This radio collar is made from an aluminium canister enclosing a ‘c’ size battery and a transmitter which broadcasts a ‘beep’ at a set frequency. The battery in this collar will last up to two years. Male and large female koalas are fitted with these collars.

Researchers prepare to fit ear tags and take samples from each of the koalas captured.

Juvenile and sub-adult koalas are fitted with small metal tags until their ears are big enough for the larger coloured tags. It is important to be able to identify each koala in our study.

The radio transmitters are fitted under the koalas chin while the aerial is wrapped around the collar and transmits from the back. The collars are fitted so as to leave the koalas room to grow while tight enough so as to not get caught on sticks and twigs.

The trees that the koalas are found in are tagged and measured. This tells us what species of tree and size of tree the koalas at each site prefer to use.


Using calipers the length of the koalas head is measured from the occipital bone (at the base of the skull) to the end of the nose. The koalas head continues to grow its whole life (although quite slow once it’s an adult) so the length of the head can tell us approximately how old an individual koala is.

A spring scale is hooked to the bag to weigh each koala when it’s caught. An average male koala (from the Queensland sub-species) will weigh 8 to 10kg, while the females are usually around 7 or 8kg.

Volunteers measure the habitat characteristics in forests where koalas are found. It’s important to know what types of forests koalas need as well as what species of trees they use.

When a koala is caught and being measured and weighed, it’s a good opportunity for the volunteers to look on and see the koalas up close.


When catching koalas all the necessary equipment is taken into the field so that the data can be collected without having to transport the koala very far. Volunteers hold the koala securely in a bag while the data is recorded and the collars are fitted.
This mature male koala has many scars on his nose. Koalas, particularly the males, will often have scars and old injuries when we examine them.

Juvenile and sub-adult koalas are fitted with smaller collars than the adults. They have a smaller battery so are lighter so they don’t interfere with their activity. These collars are also made with different materials, so they can allow for the rapid growth of koalas this size.

In some special cases the koalas are anesthetized to take samples. When swabs are taken from the eyes and urogenitals to check the koalas for diseases we put the animals to sleep to prevent them from any distress. We use gas so they wake up very quickly and can be released straight away.