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Kangaroos and Wallabies

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This is a large species. There are nearly 60 species of kangaroos, wallabies, etc, which are names given to the hopping marsupials of Austalia and New Guinea. There is just far too many to mention so I have selected at least one representative from each family.

Red Kangaroo

The red kangaroo is the largest of the species and it lives in the arid regions of Australia. They move in groups of up Red kangaroo.jpg (7673 bytes)to several hundred and these groups are known as mobs. Their habitats include desert, grasslands, shrub lands, mulga, and mallee scrubs. Not all red kangaroos are red, with regional differences where in some cases females are a bluish grey. These kangaroos can weigh up to 90kg and reach a height of 1.4m. Their tail ranges in length to 1m and they can reach speeds of 65km/h. The red kangaroo stands upright except when feeding on grasses and low plants. It usually grazes at night and it can withstand temperatures in excess of 40C. The red kangaroo will thump the ground with its feet to warn the others in the mob if danger is approaching. They receive their boxing kangaroo name bacause when the males fight, they appear to be boxing.

Western Grey Kangaroowestern_grey_kangaroo.jpg (6077 bytes)

This species is a survivor and can still be seen in built up areas on golf courses and the like. They are greyish brown to reddish brown with males growing more than 2m from head to tail. This species is very common with widespread large numbers. It is believed there may even be more of them today than before European settlement and they are culled under licence. This species prefers open grasslands with water and nearby forests or woodlands. They are mainly grass eaters that breed throughout the year.

easterngrey kangaroo.jpg (11620 bytes)


Eastern Grey Kangaroo

Much like the western grey but this species has grey fur instead of brownish fur. Groups of these can reach up to 50 in number and are led by a mature buck. They live in coastal and inland plains, woodlands, and scrub areas. They are similar in size to the western grey and also breed throughout the year. They feed on grasses and herbs, and will also eat cereal crops. The eastern grey kangaroo is known to attack so caution is advised when approaching in the wild.


Swamp Wallabyswamp wallaby.jpg (9220 bytes)

This species of wallaby lives in eastern Australia and is of its own genus. Despite its name, it not only lives in swamps, but also in moist thickets and dense undergrowth forests. The swamp wallaby grows to about 65-75cm, feeding on native and exotic vegetation. Their diet gives them a scent which makes them known as "stinkers". They breed throughout the year.


rock wallaby.jpg (7825 bytes)Rock Wallabies

There are about a dozen different species of rock wallabies in Australia. These include: allied rock wallaby; Proserpine rock wallaby; black footed; yellow footed; brush tailed; unadorned; short eared; Cape York rock wallaby; monjon; narbalek; Herbert's rock wallaby and; Godman's rock wallaby. One of these varieties is the brush tailed species which lives among rocky cliffs and ledges in eastern Australia. This species is definitely threatened with extinction. The diet of the brush tailed rock wallaby is mainly grasses but it will also eat flowers, fruit, and seeds.

Rufous Hare-Wallabyrufous hare wallaby.jpg (3202 bytes)

There are three varieties of hare wallabies, rufous, banded, and spectacled. The rufous variety was once common but is now considered endangered. The species is extinct in the wild on the mainland apart from two experimental programs. Their habitat is spinifex grasslands where they feed on plant fibre.


bridled nailtail wallaby1.jpg (5719 bytes)Nailtail Wallaby

There is two species of nailtail wallaby, the bridled and the northern. The third species, crescent, is now extinct. They are named nailtail because of the horny spur at the end of their tails. The bridled is found in a small area of Queensland and the northern nailtail lives in the top of Australia where it is common. The small bridled species only exists on a reserve near Dingo, Central Queensland, where it's closely managed. The bridled nailtail wallaby prefers scrub and grassy woodlands, feeding on grass and flowering plants.


Lumholtz Tree Kangarootree kangaroo.jpg (9251 bytes)

There are eight species of tree kangaroos in New Guinea and two species in Australia, both of which are found in north Queensland's tropical rainforests. The larger of the two species is the Bennett's tree kangaroo and the other is the Lumholtz tree kangaroo, named after a Norwegian naturalist. The Lumholtz lives in parts of the rainforest of the Atherton Tablelands. It is nocturnal and usually stays in the treetops. It feeds on leaves and fruits. Tree kangaroos are endangered mainly as a result of logging.


quokka.jpg (7328 bytes)Quokka

The quokka is a small wallaby mainly found on Rottnest Island just off of Perth, Western Australia. They were named by the Dutch explorer, Willem de Vlamingh who thought they were rats (Rottnest is Dutch for rats nest). They are generally nocturnal creatures. As they can also suffer from a disease very similar, they contribute to the study of muscular dystrophy.


Musky Rat Kangaroomusky_rat-kangaroo.jpg (7109 bytes)

Rat kangaroos are the smallest of the kangaroo/wallaby families. There is two species of rat kangaroo, musky and desert. The musky rat kangaroo is about the size of a bandicoot. It has kept a number of its possum ancestors features (kangaroos, evolved from possum-like ancestors). Its habitat is that of the Australian tropical rainforests, particularly near creeks and rivers. Generally a ground dweller, it can climb fallen branches and trees. The musky rat kangaroo feeds on fruit, seeds, fungi, and small invertebrates. They have also been known to eat lichen, flowers, and soft bark. Unlike other kangaroos, its tail does not support it.


potoroo.jpg (6631 bytes)Long Nosed Potoroo

There are three types of potoroo's, broad-faced, long-nosed, and long-footed. The long-nosed potoroo is Australia's most ancient kangaroo. It is tiny, only measuring 20cm high. It is considered a living fossil as it hasn't changed in 10million years. It is very rare as it is now only common in Tasmania. It hasn't been seen in Western Australia for 70 years and was last seen in South Australia in 1880.


Northern Bettongbettong.jpg (8112 bytes)

The northern bettong is one of five bettong species: rufous, northern, Tasmanian, brush-tailed, and burrowing. The northern bettong was once common but now only survives in four close locations of Queensland. They depend on underground truffles for their main food source which in turn provides a vital service to the forest. It was discovered that by eating the truffles, the bettong distributes spores through the forest.


red legged pademelon.jpg (4102 bytes)Red Legged Pademelon

One of three species of Pademelon, the red-legged pademelon is similar to the other two species, red-bellied and red-necked. This species is found along the north-east coast of Australia where they prefer rainforest habitats but they can be found in wet forests and dry vine scrubs. They are usually a solitary animal that feeds mainly on fallen leaves but occasionally, fresh leaves and berries. They especially like the Moreton Bay fig and the Burdekin plum fruit. Its status is currently stable.

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