Wildlife Research Wildlife Research Society
Ecology, management and conservation in natural and modified habitats

Behaviour of the Koala, Phascolarctos cinereus (Goldfuss), in Captivity IV.* Scent-Marking

M Smith

Australian Wildlife Research 7(1) 35 - 40
Published: 1980


Male koalas scent-mark by grasping a vertical object, generally a tree, and rubbing the sternal gland against it. The behaviour first appears at 3 y of age, and reaches a peak a year or two later. It is frequently performed in conjunction with bellowing, especially in response to agonistic encounters or the bellow of a rival male, and often by itself in circumstances where a bellow might be expected. It is sometimes a response to unfamiliar surroundings or objects, and otherwise is performed by a male moving about a pen. Scent-marking may primarily be a response to unfamiliarity which, having become associated with displaced aggression, has been entrained to the bellowing drive.


© CSIRO 1980

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