Wallaby

Scientific Name
Macropus rufogriseus                            

Feeding Type
Herbivorous      

Range
Southeast Australia, Tasmania   

Habitat
Scrub and grassy clearings in woodland  

Diet in the Wild
Grass, leaves, roots and saplings                       

Diet at the Zoo
ADF - 25 pellets & grass                      

Longevity
Up to 15 years
 
Description
The red-necked wallaby is a medium-sized wallaby and its name comes from the thick, reddish fur that covers its neck and shoulders. They measure up to 3 feet in height, and weigh up to 25 pounds. Like all marsupials, the female red-necked wallaby has a pouch on its belly. The pouch is where its young develop and find protection.                        

Adaptation/Behavior       
Red-necked wallabies are wary and elusive, and their mobile and sensitive ears are its first line of defense.  At the first rustle of an approaching predator, the wallaby will bound away into cover, with the aid of its specially adapted hind limbs and its long tail. Each hind limb has an elastic tendon that acts like a spring, catapulting the wallaby into the air again as soon as it lands. Its tail also acts as a rudder that enables the wallaby to change direction quickly while escaping from predators.

Courtship/Breeding
Red-necked wallabies mate year round and females are receptive every 32 days. When the young is born, it is smaller than an inch and travels from the birth canal to the pouch, where it will suckle. The joey develops in the pouch for 6 months and is independent after 9 months. Although single births usually occur, it is not uncommon for a female to support 3 young at a time; one fertilized egg in the uterus, a second neonate suckling in the pouch, and a third active young who has left the pouch but returns to suckle.
 
Conservation
Their population is stable, and is in fact, one of the few wallabies that is still widespread. They are considered as a crop pest in some places as it eats newly planted saplings.


Interesting Facts

  • A male wallaby is called a boomer, and a female is called a flyer.  A young is called a joey.
  • Wallabies live in a group called a mob.