Koalas look cute and furry in photos, but if you touch one you’ll find that the fur is quite coarse and even unpleasant to touch. They also have sharp teeth and claws.
Cath is participating in a koala survey on her property in Ashby. In my area (around Lismore), the main trees that koalas love are the tallowwood (Eucalyptus microcorys) and forest red gum (E. tereticornis). Down south in Ashby, where there the climate is drier and the forest type is dry sclerophyll rather than wet sclerophyll or rainforest, there are no tallowwoods, they are up the grey gum (E. punctata). It didn’t occur to me that, of course, those sharp little claws would make identifiable marks in bark. Goannas also mark trees when they climb them, but koala marks look different. The grey gum in the shot below has lost its bark.
The tree below still has its bark.
Here’s a shot showing the actual size of the scratches.
The claw marks have been coloured in certain trees, for revisiting the site.