Spectacled Hare Wallaby, Lagorchestes conspicillatus
The spectacled hare-wallaby (Lagorchestes conspicillatus) is a marsupial that can be found in New Guinea and Australia. Its Australian range includes northern areas of the region and a small area on Barrow Island. This species was first described by John Gould and given its current scientific name, along with a description of the Barrow Island subpopulation or subspecies, which he named Lagorchestes leichardti.
The spectacled hare-wallaby is nocturnal and is larger than many of the other members of its genus. Its fur is greyish brown in color and gold at the tips and the face holds an orange mask like patch of fur around the eyes, the feature from which it derived its common name. This species builds nests on the ground in rough vegetation, and will run away in a zigzag pattern if frightened. It is able to breed year round and reaches sexual maturity at about one year of age.
This species once held a larger range than it currently holds and its population numbers are declining. It is threatened by habitat loss and predation from introduced species. Using the Western Shield projects, it is thought that the species could be reintroduced into its native habitat. The spectacled hare-wallaby currently appears on the IUCN Red List with a conservation status of “Least Concern.”
Image Caption: Lagorchestes conspicillatus. Credit: John Gould/Wikipedia