Endangered joeys spotted in Grampians National Park
Tuesday 20 October, 2020
The precious population of endangered Brush-tailed Rock-wallabies in the Grampians National Park has grown by four, with surveillance cameras spotting joeys.
Pictured in pouches and on-the-move during September and October, the new joeys take the estimated number of the wallabies in the national park to 13.
The last known Brush-tailed Rock-wallaby was removed from the Grampians in 1999 to become part of a breeding program – which was successful, with wallabies then re-introduced in 2008. The only other known colony in Victoria is living in the Snowy River National Park.
Since their reintroduction to the Grampians, the wallabies have been carefully monitored and managed by Parks Victoria and its partners.
The animals face direct threats from predators including foxes and feral cats, and to their habitat from cleared vegetation and proximity to a range of human activity.
To help protect the wallabies, and a range of other small mammals, fox and feral cat control is currently being delivered in the national park. Part of the Grampians Ark conservation program, this work is being funded by the Victorian Government’s $33.67 million Biodiversity Response Planning and Weeds and Pests on Public Land initiative.
Weighing between 6–8kg and standing around 60cm tall, Brush-tailed Rock-wallabies are smaller than most other species of wallaby. As the name suggests, it has a bushy tail, which provides balance as it traverses a rocky habitat of cliffs, ledges, crevices and caves.
Thought to have become extinct in Victoria following extensive hunting for its meat and fur throughout the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the wallaby was rediscovered in 1937 and is now considered one of Victoria’s most endangered mammals.
Quotes attributable to Derek Sandow, Grampians Ark Coordinator–Parks Victoria:
“It’s incredibly exciting to see these endangered joeys that have been born in the wild from within this small colony.”
“Our team has been working for a long time to protect these special animals, recently ramping up our conservation program to target foxes and feral cats in the national park.”
“This a unique environment and home to a range of native animals, plants and birdlife – it’s critical we protect the Grampians for future generations to enjoy.”