Are Wallabies Endangered?
Wallabies are a group of macropods that live in the highlands areas of New Guinea, some offshore islands, and Australia. They are found primarily in forests, grasslands, and rocky areas.
But are Wallabies considered endangered?
Australia is home to 8 different species of wallabies (and one extinct species) which reside in all four corners of the continent. Some species are endangered, while others have been reintroduced into the wild after being bred in captivity in zoos.
The brush-tailed rock-wallaby
One such wallaby is the Brush-tailed Rock Wallaby (Petrogale penicillata), which was once thought extinct until it was “rediscovered” by an Australian surveyor in 1994.
The species weigh up to 16 pounds and has a grey coat with white stripes on its chest and a dark stripe down its spine. Like other members of the rock wallaby subfamily, these marsupials prefer rocky terrain and feed on grasses, fruit, and fungi.
Today, the Brush-tailed Rock Wallaby is listed as an endangered species on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. It has been reintroduced to three separate areas, including a national park in New South Wales, which was once common during the 1930s. Their wild population is currently estimated at around 3,0000 individuals living across Australia’s Murray-Darling Riverlands.
Threats And Predators
The wallaby has dodged many predators in the past, but the Australian dingo and feral cat are two of their main predators today. The cat’s natural instinct is to hunt smaller animals, which makes it an imminent predator for the wallaby population. The dingo preys on small-sized animals as well, but they lack the necessary quickness for swift pursuit and capture. The leading cause of death for the wallabies is being hit by cars or trains when hopping across roads searching for food.
There have also been reports of wallabies drowning while trying to swim across a river. Wallabies can swim to some degree, but they need to be careful because, unlike other mammals who have waterproof fur or hair, wallabies’ fur and hair get wet.
Want to know more about the wallaby? Keep reading!
The wallaby is a small, herbivorous mammal with a diet consisting of primary grasses. It is like the Kangaroo classified as a marsupial which means it produces an underdeveloped baby and then carries its young for several months in a pouch.
A group of wallabies is called a mob or herd of wallabies! A lone wallaby is known as a buck, stag, or jackass.
Wallabies have a wide variety of head forms varying from short-headed wallabies with concave foreheads to medium-sized wallabies with convex head profiles to long-are wallabies marsupials.
A Wallaby Baby Stays With Its Mom For Almost A Year!
When a tiny wallaby baby is born, their mothers lick off the afterbirth, and the baby crawls immediately into their mother’s pouch, where they continue to grow for several months. The gestation period averages 25 days. Wallabies can’t keep their eyes open when they are born! The baby likes to stay with its mother for almost one year, and then it becomes independent.
Kangaroo And Wallaby – What’s the difference?
Both kangaroo and wallaby are marsupials. The following is the difference between these two:
1. Kangaroo is a large animal, the weight of which can reach as much as 90 kilos. Wallabies are less in size; they can not exceed 30 to 40 kilos at most.
2. The kangaroo has strong paws on which it makes jumps of up to 10 meters long and 2 meters high. This muscular animal uses its tail as a counterbalance. The wallaby has a small head, weak paws, and a rubbery tail that is very sensitive to touch (and is used as a balance tool).
3. Kangaroos have many young; they can give birth to up to 4 of them at once. Wallabies usually give birth to only one offspring.
4. A kangaroo’s life span does not exceed 10 years. For example, an adult wallaby lives between 5-10 years in the wild, while if it survives difficult conditions of captivity, it may live longer than 12 years.
5. Kangaroos feed on grasses, shrubs, native plants, and some roots. They are herbivores but also eat fungi. Wallabies are herbivores as well but primarily fed on grasses.
6. Kangaroos do not live in social groups; their society is composed of small groups made up of a male with its females and their offspring. Wallabies can form large communities with more than 100 members and may include 50 males. Bachelors, as well as young males, often join these herds to increase their chances of mating.
7. Kangaroo habitats are open plains where vegetation is abundant; they live on land or the margins of rivers or lakes. Wallabies prefer living in mountainous places, preferably forests with thick undergrowth, because these animals cannot run fast like their relatives (it is uncommon for them to exceed a speed of 30 km / h).
8. Kangaroos are nocturnal animals; they spend the day in safe places and move around only at night. On the other hand, Wallabies are diurnal, although there is a tendency to be more active at dusk or dawn.
9. Kangaroos’ tails serve as a balance when jumping high or long distances. Its claws help it hold on to branches while climbing to eat leaves and fruits from trees. The wallaby does not have these features, so it must jump and climb safely with its legs: Its front paws are strong enough to carry out such operations (and give them great agility).
Several types of Wallabies differ in size and habits. Some examples of these are:
The Rock Wallaby
These are small wallabies. Their skin is primarily brownish, and they also have a black tongue. These wallabies usually live in forests and plains. They need to eat grasses, herbs, bushes, and shrubs. They also like munching on tree leaves when there’s an issue of food shortage.
The Red-necked Wallaby
These wallabies have a red neck and six toes on their hind feet. Their native home is the dry and scrubby areas of Australia. They are mostly found in Tasmania, southern Victoria, and New South Wales. But they seem to be extinct now in some regions like Western Australia and the Northern Territory.
Wallabies are famous for hopping around on two legs, but there’s also a version that goes 4 legged instead:
This type of wallaby can only live in Western Australia and comes with a weight between 2-6 pounds (1 – 2 kg). Its back has gray fur while its belly is black or white-colored. It measures about 10 inches in length and has a life span of around 10-15 years.
You can tell that this is one of the smallest wallaby types because it only reaches 2 feet (61 cm) in size. It lives on the grasslands of Australia, Tasmania, and Scotland.
They can be spotted inside public gardens or woodlands. And they eat herbs, flowers, shrubs, and grasses for food.
Wallabies usually live for about 10 years in the wild and may live up to 20 years in captivity.
The Wallaby Diet – What do wallabies eat in the wild?
Wallabies are herbivores and eat a mixture of leaves, grasses, shrubs, and flowering plants. Wallabies need only drink water every few days as the food they eat already contains all the necessary moisture for survival. They often cover long distances for water during the dry season.
Can you get a wallaby as a pet?
Wallabies are not allowed as pets in most countries. But why don’t you get one of our beautiful Wallaby or Kangaroo art prints instead? They’re much cheaper and make much less dirt! Perfect for decorating your home fast, easy, and affordable. Get yours now!