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Tropical North Queensland, Australia.
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Swamp Wallaby

swamp wallaby
Photo: Courtesy of Damon Ramsey
BSc.(Zool) Biologist Guide

Swamp Wallaby: Wallabia bicolor

  • They are the sole living member of the genus Wallabia

  • It is nocturnal

  • Maximum life span in the wild may be as long as 15 years.

  • Despite its name the 'Swamp Wallaby', it is not restricted to swamps. It inhabits moist thickets in gullies but is also found in open forest in upland areas as long as there are patches of dense cover. They are occasionally sited at Chambers Wildlife Rainforest Lodge .

Identification:

  • The fur is long, thick, and coarse.

  • The back and head are reddish brown and the belly is orange; The paws, toes, and terminal part of the tail are usually black.

  • There may be a distinct, light-coloured stripe extending from the upper lip to the ear.

  • Females have four mammae and a well-developed, forward-opening pouch

  • It hops heavily with the body well bent over and the head held low.

  • Distinguished from other wallabies within its range by very dark colour.

Habitat:

  • They are common in Eastern Queensland, Eastern New South Wales, Victoria, and Southeastern South Australia.

  • Lives in thick undergrowth in forest, woodland and heath in eastern and southern Australia from Cape York to southwestern Victoria.

  • It occupies elongated home ranges, with long axes measuring up to 600 meters.

  • In Queensland, brigalow scrub is particularly favoured and in the brigalow belt of southern inland Queensland it is a common species.

  • Areas of dense grass or ferns, sometimes in wet spots on hillsides in open eucalypt forest, provide daytime shelter from which it emerges to feed at night.

  • The Swamp Wallaby population has declined due to the clearing of its habitat but is not threatened or endangered.

Social Behaviour:

  •  Local distribution over its range appears to be determined by the availability of adequate dense vegetation for shelters.

  • Although solitary , it may aggregate when feeding.

Diet:

  • They are browsers eating mainly branches and leaves of ferns, shrubs and bushes.

Breeding:

  • may occur throughout the year, begins in both sexes when they are 15 - 18 months old.

  • After a gestation of 33-38 days, a single young is born.

  • The newborn is about the size of a jellybean and is little more than a fetus.

  • Pouch life of the young is complete by 8 - 9 months but it continues to suckle as a young at foot until about 15 months old.

  • This is the only marsupial with a gestation period longer than the estrous cycle. 

  • Twins are rare, but cases of them have been reported.

  • Births in captivity have been recorded from January to May and from October to December but there appears to be no sharply demarcated breeding season in the wild.

Size:

Head and Body Length

723-847 (756) mm (males)
665-750 (697) mm (females)

Tail Length

690-862 (761) mm (males)
640-728 (692) mm (females)

Weight

12.3-20.5 (17) kg (males)
10.3-15.4 913) kg (females)

Additional Swamp Wallaby Photos
 


Chambers Wildlife Rainforest Lodges
Lake Eacham, Atherton Tablelands
Tropical North Queensland, Australia.
PH & Fax: 07 4095 3754 International: 61 7 4095 3754

http://www.rainforest-australia.com/accommodation


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