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Last updated on April 19, 2014 at 13:20 EDT

Brush-tailed Rock Wallaby, Petrogale penicillata

The brush-tailed rock wallaby (Petrogale penicillata), also known as the small-eared rock wallaby, is a marsupial that is native to Australia. Its range includes The Great Dividing Range, where it is locally common in northern New South Wales and southern areas of Queensland. In the southern and eastern areas of its range, it is becoming less common. This species prefers a habitat within rocky areas containing arid to tropical types of vegetation.

During the 1800’s, Governor Grey introduced the brush-tailed rock wallaby into many areas, along with four other types of wallaby, as a part of the acclimatization movement. These wallabies, including the rare Parma wallaby, were placed onto the islands in the Hauraki Gulf, located near Auckland, New Zealand. During that time, populations began to thrive.

In more recent years, these wallabies have been viewed as exotic pets, endangering both the animals and the plants in the area. Because of this, efforts are being taken to remove some of the wallabies from the Hauraki Gulf islands, in order to bolster the populations in Australia. Between the years of 1967 and 1975, wallabies on the island of Kawau and returned to Australia with wallabies from other areas. More wallabies have been captured and returned between the 1990’s and the 2000’s. Some of these, captured in 2003 from Kawau, were placed in the Waterfall Springs Conservation Park for captive breeding efforts. One captive breeding population escaped on Oahu Island in Hawaii, creating a small, introduced population there. The brush-tailed rock wallaby appears on the IUCN Red List with a conservation status of “Near Threatened.”

Image Caption: Brush-tailed Rock-wallaby, Petrogale penicillata. Credit: Glen Fergus/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 2.5)

Brush-tailed Rock Wallaby Petrogale penicillata