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Rock Wallabies, Magnetic Island - North QLD


The rocky terrain and dense vegetation of Magnetic Island is home to Allied Rock-Wallabies.
Their subtle colouring camouflages these animals, making them difficult to see among the rocks. Allied rock-wallabies move quickly and surely around their rocky habitat, helped by short toenails on their hind feet.
Magnetic Island is one of the few places (if not the only place) in Australia where you can feed wild Rock Wallabies.
At dusk, the Rock Wallibies hang out in Arcadia near the pier.
Rock-wallabies aren’t found anywhere else on Earth.
There are currently 16 species and eight subspecies of rock-wallaby living in Australia.
They form the largest group of macropods (kangaroos, wallabies and their relatives), representing 22% of the species that remain.
Rock-wallabies are an internationally recognised group for the study of species development and chromosome evolution in kangaroos and wallabies.
Few features distinguish the allied rock-wallaby from its close relatives but each species lives in a different part of Queensland and northern New South Wales; where their ranges overlap slightly, there is some hybridisation.
They all have upper parts that range from brown to grey, and paler underparts.
They usually have a dark muzzle and a dark patch around the armpits. On the face is a pale cheek stripe, and across the hips is another pale stripe
The diet comprises grasses and shoots of herbaceous plants, with up to thirty percent of the diet being browsed from bushes.
They have a small home range during the wet season when food is readily available, but range much more widely during the dry season.
While foraging, out-of-pouch young are often left hidden in rock crevices.
The allied rock-wallaby is behaviourally monogamous, but not all the offspring are sired by the supposed father.
The gestation period is about thirty days, the joey leaves the pouch at six to seven months and is fully weaned when nearly a year old.
Young adults may disperse over distances of two kilometres or so, and longevity is about seven years.

Posted by charlystyles 13:28 Archived in Australia Tagged magnetic_island allied_rock_wallabies

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