Red-necked Wallaby

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Red-necked Wallaby[1]
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Infraclass: Marsupialia
Order: Diprotodontia
Family: Macropodidae
Genus: Macropus
Species: M. rufogriseus
Binomial name
Macropus rufogriseus
Desmarest, 1817

The Red-necked Wallaby (Macropus rufogriseus) is a medium-sized macropod, common in parts of eastern Australia. As one of the largest wallabies, it looks like a kangaroo. Males can weigh more than 20 kg and have a head-body length of 90 cm.

Red-necked Wallabies have a black nose and paws, white stripe on the upper lip, and a medium grey coat with a red color on their neck.

Red-necked Wallabies are found along the coast and forests of eastern Australia, from Rockhampton, Queensland to the South Australian border; in Tasmania and on many of the Bass Strait islands (many of these may have been introduced to the islands).

In Tasmania, north-east New South Wales and coastal Queensland, their numbers have got bigger over the past 30 years. This is because they are no longer hunted. A lot of forest has been cleared for grass where wallabies can feed at night, alongside trees where they can shelter by day. It is less common in Victoria.

Joey in pouch

Like most macropods, the Red-necked Wallaby lives by itself. Groups, also called mobs, share feeding areas. They feed at night and in the late afternoon, generally eating grass and herbs close to forest shelter.

There are two subspecies. The Tasmanian form, Macropus rufogriseus rufogriseus, also called Bennett's Wallaby is smaller, has longer fur, and breeds in the late summer, mostly between February and April. They can live close to people and are seen feeding on lawns in the suburbs of Hobart and other towns.

The mainland form, Macropus rufogriseus banksianus, breeds all year round. A female can have babies at the about 14 months old. A baby red-necked wallaby, called a joey, lives in the mothers pouch for 9 months, and continues to feed from the mother till about 12-15 months of age[3].

References[change | change source]

  1. Groves, Colin (16 November 2005). Wilson, D. E., and Reeder, D. M. (eds). ed. Mammal Species of the World (3rd edition ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 65. ISBN 0-801-88221-4. http://www.bucknell.edu/msw3.
  2. Australasian Marsupial & Monotreme Specialist Group (1996). Macropus rufogriseus. 2006 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. Retrieved on 12 May 2006.
  3. Australia Zoo, Red-necked wallaby, 2008, http://www.australiazoo.com.au/our-animals/amazing-animals/mammals/?mammal=kangaroos&animal=red-necked_wallaby, retrieved 20 July, 2008