Endangered brush-tailed rock-wallabies born

By AG Staff 7 August 2015
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Two endangered brush-tailed rock-wallaby joeys have been born at Taronga Zoo

TWO BRUSH-TAILED ROCK-WALLABY joeys have been born at Taronga Zoo. The species (Petrogale penicillata) is listed as Vulnerable on the EPBC

The births of the five-month-old joeys are a successful outcome from the breeding program.

A female joey born to mum Mica, has been recently popping her head out of the pouch, giving zoo staff and visitors a peek. She’ll likely stay hidden in the pouch for another month, before venturing out into the world.

“She’s still quite shy, but we’re starting to see her little face more and more. Mica likes to find a nice spot to rest in the sun and the joey will often pop its head out to look around,” said Keeper, Tony Britt-Lewis.

Another joey has also peeked out from mum Ruby’s pouch this week. “Mica and Ruby are both very experienced and attentive mothers, so they are showing all the right nurturing behaviours,” he said.

Mum Mica, with her baby 

In 2008 the total population was estimated at 30,000. Their primary habitat is north-eastern NSW, where 80 per cent of the population is found, much of it in New England region. 

An estimated 17 per cent are in Queensland, and a tiny proportion in Victoria. Hunting, predation by foxes, dogs and cats, and competition with goats and rabbits for food and habitat, are some of the causes of the decline

An Australian Geographic fundraiser this year donated $25,000 to brush-tailed wallaby conservation.

Taronga is working with the Office of Environment and Heritage on a coordinated program to help the recovery of the species.