Perhaps the most long-awaited new edition in the Australian Natural History Series
, this is a substantially different book from the previous edition by Tony Lee and Roger Martin. The contents cover the history of the koala; its distribution and abundance; nutrition; behaviour, sociality and life cycle; predators, parasites and pathogens; population biology; and conservation and management. Illustrations are widely used including eight pages of colour plates. The book places a strong emphasis on conservation and management issues, and candidly addresses issues of koala overpopulation in such areas as Kangaroo Island (South Australia) and Framlingham and French Island (Victoria).
Roger Martin has had a long-term interest in the conservation of Australian mammals, particularly forest-dependent species, and has been widely acclaimed for his pioneering field research on koalas. His other love is tree-kangaroos. He is a research associate in zoology at the University of Melbourne.
Katherine Handasyde has held an interest in koalas that dates back to 1980 when she began studies on their feeding behaviour. Subsequently she has studied reproductive biology and endocrinology of koalas, including the impact of Chlamydia on wild populations. She is a lecturer in zoology at the University of Melbourne, and joint editor of The Biology of the Koala (1991).