14 Jul BRUSH-TAILED ROCK WALLABY JOEY AT AUSSIE ARK
Aussie Ark, has caught on camera incredible footage of an endangered Brush-tailed Rock-Wallaby nestled in its mother’s pouch at their conservation facilities in the Barrington Tops. The footage was caught during a routine health check, following camera trap footage caught of the mother wallaby with a. considerable ‘pouch bulge’, indicating a joey was inside.
The tiny joey is only thought to be about 4 months old, so will remain in its mother’s pouch for a few more months to come until it starts to emerge and follow mum around on foot. The joey is the first one confirmed for this season so far and is a great success for the organisations breeding program!
“What a moment it was! Peeking inside that pouch and seeing that tiny joey curled up inside was nothing less than breathtaking” said Hayley Shute, Manager of Conservation at Aussie Ark.
She continued “Brush-tailed Rock-wallabies are so endangered and following the bushfires of 2020 they have suffered immense loss. This tiny joey serves as a beacon of hope for the recovery of the species”
Aussie Ark has worked with the endangered Brush-tailed Rock-wallaby since 2018, when they established the first breeding program for the species. Following the devastating impacts of the 2019/2020 bushfire season, which annihilated much of the wallaby’s habitat, the organisation doubled its holding capacity for the species, with the help of the Australian Governments bushfire recovery program and FAME (Foundation for Australia’s Most Endangered). Now the organisation boasts 12 state of the art breeding yards, which all incorporate incredible rock mounds to make the wallabies feel right at home.
The team at Aussie Ark will continue to monitor the mother wallaby on her new journey, through camera traps, but will remain largely out of the way during the process. Once the joey is out on foot, a health check will be given. The joey will remain with mum until it is old enough to be placed into a new breeding yard to continue the vital conservation work being undertaken onsite.
The Brush-tailed rock-wallaby is found from South-Eastern Queensland to Western Victoria, roughly following the line of the Great Dividing Range. Their range has significantly declined, leaving remaining populations fragmented and vulnerable to further catastrophe. They inhabit rocky escarpments, outcrops and cliffs with a preference for complex structures with fissures, caves and ledges, often facing north.
Threats to the Brush-tailed rock-wallaby are varied but include predation by foxes, cats and wild dogs, competition with feral goats as well as pigs, degradation and fragmentation of habitat, fire regimes that reduce the abundance and diversity of ground forage and infestation by invasive weeds causing loss.
The population of wild Brush-tailed rock-wallabies is in decline – with less than 20,000 expected to be left in the wild and as little as under 10 in some fragmented populations.
You can support Aussie Ark’s work with the endangered species by donating today.