What Eats Koalas?

Due to disease, bushfires, and human encroachment on natural habitat, unfortunately, koalas are under threat of extinction. 

In addition to this, koalas are constantly at risk of being eaten by potential predators.

What Eats Koalas

So, while koalas may look cute and cuddly, they have many factors pinned against them. 

One-way koalas avoid predators is by climbing high into trees. Threats arise when they must leave their safe confinements, for instance, in the event of a fire. 

With this in mind, this article will look into what eats koalas, providing you with insight into the threats koalas face.

Examples Of Animals That Eat Koalas

1. Amethystine Python

This amethystine python can be found in Australia and is characterized by its large frame and non-venomous tendencies. 

This species in particular is the world’s largest snake and can reach lengths of up to 8.7 meters. 

Since the amethystine python is a carnivore, it preys on small animals, including koalas. 

The snake is known as a constrictor, this means that it will squeeze its prey to death before swallowing it in one go. 

Since both koalas and amethystine python are arboreal creatures, they can both be found living in the branches of trees, making them natural enemies in proximity. 

Much like the koalas, the amethystine python is declining in population due to being hunted for its beautiful skin. In fact, on the IUCN, the snake is listed as vulnerable. 

Having said that, in Australia these impressive snakes are in fact protected, and it’s illegal to capture or kill them. 

Typically, they can be found in the rainforest, near streams, and rivers.  

2. Australian Barn Owl

As its name suggests, this particular barn owl only resides in Australia. The Australian barn owl is a nocturnal predator, meaning it hunts various animals, including reptiles, birds, and rodents, at night. 

While barn owls aren’t particularly fussy with their prey, baby koalas are one of their favorite meals. 

The barn owl is categorized as a medium-sized owl, containing a 1.5 meters (5 feet) wingspan. It features a white chest and face, covered in light brown feathers. Their eyes are yellow and big, and they have black beaks. 

These owls can be found throughout Australia, the exemption being the Island of Tasmania. Typically, they live in open spaces, including fields and woods. 

The owls use their sharp hearing and eyesight to locate prey, and once they find it, they swoop down from the sky and kill and latch onto it with their lethal talons.

3. Crocodiles

There are many different species of crocodiles found in Australia, and, if given the chance, they wouldn’t mind gobbling up a koala. 

These large reptiles are capable of killing full-grown adults; although, they typically target younger koalas and joeys. 

Some smaller species of crocodiles, such as the freshwater crocodiles and Johnston’s, deliberately target koalas that have their way onto the ground. 

In contrast, the bigger freshwater crocodiles are more likely to scavenge on injured or dead koalas; however, there are cases of them attacking perfectly healthy koalas, too. 

Some areas of Australia consciously remove crocodiles from the location in an effort to protect the koala population. 

Although, this isn’t always successful, and some koalas can fall victim to the crocodiles. 

4. Dingoes

Native to Australia, these dingoes are the country’s only wild species of canine. Typically, they prey on much smaller mammals, such as marsupials and rodents. 

In the wild, dingoes are koalas’ main predators. Sometimes, they can even be spotted barking up at them in the trees. 

Too many farmers and ranchers, and dingoes are considered to be a pest since they are pretty on livestock. Likewise, in recent years, there has been an increase in attacks on humans with calls for their extermination. 

However, despite this, they play a role in the ecosystem and need to be protected. 

5. Domestic Dogs

While these dogs aren’t native to Australia, they can be found throughout the country. 

While most breeds won’t deliberately attack koalas, some have been known to kill them, including the Australian cattle dog. 

In fact, dogs are among one of the main reasons koalas are listed as vulnerable in some areas across the country. 

In addition to being threats to koalas, domestic dogs can also be a predator to many other native animals. For instance, they are known to attack kangaroos and wallabies, which can die from injuries sustained by these dogs. 

Likewise, dogs are known to spread diseases among other native wildlife. 

6. Foxes

Foxes are a common animal found all around the world, and in Australia; there are several different species. 

These foxes tend to feed on a range of small mammals, this includes koalas. 

It is generally believed across Australia that foxes are the number one cause of the decline in the koala population, and while this hasn’t been proven, they are known to hunt them. 

In addition to preying on koalas, they are also known to hunt poultry, as well as other livestock. 

While there is a lot of concern surrounding foxes’ position in the wildlife ecosystem, they can also provide many advantages to humans.

For one, they help to control rodent and pest populations and are also helpful in hunting other predators such as feral cats

Although, having said that, foxes are a popular game animal and are hunted by humans for their fur for use in coats and other clothing. 

Final Thoughts

Koalas are known for their cute and cuddly appearance. Although, despite this, they are hunted and killed by other animals who may not share the same sentiment as humans.

Since koalas aren’t particularly good at defending themselves, as a result, they will usually fall prey to attacks. 

Their predators can include anything from dingoes and domesticated dogs to pythons and crocodiles. Hopefully, this guide has informed you all about koalas and their position amongst other animals and prey.

Olivia Kepner