Black Wallaroo, Macropus bernardus

The black wallaroo (Macropus bernardus), also known as Woodward’s wallaroo or Bernard’s wallaroo, is a member of the Macropodidae family that can be found in Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory. This area occurs in mountainous habitat between Nabarlek and South Alligator River that contains open eucalyptus forests and closed forests.

The black wallaroo is the smallest and most unique of all wallaroo species. It displays sexual dimorphism, with males appearing to be all black or dark brown in color and females appearing to be grey in color. There is not much known about the habits of this species, although it has been found to be solitary and nocturnal. When startled, this species will retreat into the rocks and boulders within its habitat.

The population numbers of the black wallaroo are unknown, but it is not thought to be declining. It is common in areas with viable habitat, but elusive, which makes it difficult to study. The major threats to this species could be recent changes in wildfire patterns, which have slightly altered the wallaroo’s habitat, or local hunting, although this cannot be proven. It occurs within the Kakadu National Park, a protected area. More studies are needed in order to properly understand the needs of this species. The black wallaroo appears on the IUCN Red List with a conservation status of “Near Threatened.”

Image Caption: Black Wallaroo (Macropus bernardus) in Territory Wildlife Park, Northern Territory, Australia. Credit: XiscoNL/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)