Yellow-footed Rock Wallaby, Petrogale xanthopus

The yellow-footed rock wallaby (Petrogale xanthopus) is a marsupial that is native to Australia. Its range includes eastern areas of Australia, western areas of New South Wales, northwestern Victoria, and a few areas of Queensland. It prefers a habitat within rocky areas, where it is safer than other species of wallaby from predators. It can reach an average height of 23.6 inches and a weight between 15.4 and 28.7 pounds. It is typically greyish brown in color with a yellow tail, feet, and forearms.

The yellow-footed rock wallaby holds two subspecies throughout its range, both of which prefer rocky habitats. The P. x. xanthopus subspecies appears in higher numbers in Queensland, with a total population between five and ten thousand individuals and is found on the IUCN Res List as “Vulnerable.” The P. x. celeris subspecies is found on the IUCN Red List with a status of “Near Threatened” and can be found in slightly arid habitats.

Because of its unique appearance, the yellow-footed rock wallaby was once nearly overhunted as a trophy animal. Today it has a slightly fragmented range, with the smallest populations in the Gap and Cotraundee Ranges in New South Wales and Flinders Ranges of South Australia. Most of these populations were found on private lands, so the Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife acquired 38.6 square miles of the land. This land was designated as a refuge for the wallaby and named Coturaundee Nature Reserve. Studies have shown that the population number in this area is growing. The measures taken to conserve this species may help conserve other species in the future. The yellow-footed rock wallaby appears on the IUCN Red List with a conservation status of “Near Threatened.”

Image Caption: Yellow-footed rock wallaby (Petrogale xanthopus) at Monarto Zoo, South Australia. Credit: Peripitus/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)