Rock-Wallabies Fighting Back
Author: Ryan Collins
It's always great to hear a story about a threatened species that's fighting back, especially when they are found nowhere else on the planet. The Australian brush-tailed rock-wallaby is one of those species and their comeback in the Grampians National Park is not before time.
The battle to save the brush-tailed rock-wallaby has been going on for many years, with captive bred populations created as part of numerous release programs across Victoria and New South Wales.
Planet Ark’s Recycling Programs Manager, Ryan Collins was involved back in 2009 whilst working for WWF-Australia in what was then the biggest ever release of captive bred Brush-tailed Rock-wallabies. The 23 wallabies were flown by helicopter onto the top of a mountain in the Warrumbungle National Park.
In the Grampians, the last surviving rock-wallaby was captured in 1999 in an attempt to ensure the local population's survival. Key areas were closed off to human recreational use, like rock climbing, to enable the implementation of captive release programs. After several disappointing results since 2008 due to high mortality and low reproduction rates, success has occurred with four new offspring raising the colony’s numbers to eight wallabies.
In an interview with the ABC, Ryan Duffy, a coordinator behind one of the programs said, "We've gone through some tough times but to finally start to see this glimmer of success, for me personally, it's quite uplifting."
These unique and beautiful acrobats of rocky outcrops and cliff ledges have done it tough since the red fox was introduced for hunting by European settlers and became their major predator. Habitat loss and hunting by humans hasn't helped. Currently, their genetic decline due to the low population and long-term isolation are threats that recovery teams are looking to resist.
Mount Rothwell Biodiversity Interpretation Centre in Little River plays an integral role working with the University of Melbourne to introduce new genes into the species. The process, known as outcrossing, increases genetic diversity, making them fitter, healthier and more able to "rock out" in the wild.
- Notify your state park agency of any brush-tailed rock-wallaby sightings
- If living near rock-wallaby habitat, ensure cats and dogs do not roam and are de-sexed
- Learn more about the Brush-tailed Rock-wallaby
Author: Ryan CollinsRyan is the Recycling Programs Manager at Planet Ark. After nearly a decade working in the banking and finance industry Ryan was drawn to a career in environmental conservation that saw him work in Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Fiji. With a background in psychology and environmental management, Ryan’s role at Planet Ark since 2012 has been focused on developing engaging and positive environmental behaviour change programs to help everyone recycle and reduce waste.
- World's largest trees given new hope for preservation »
- Nearly 400 new species discovered in the Amazon »
- Brush-tailed phascogale makes a surprise appearance on revegetated islands »
- Decades of community action brings a disappearing frogmouth back from the brink »
- Back from the brink: recent 'baby boom' offers new hope for endangered southern right whale »
- Picky plants: Growing green in difficult environments »
- How indoor plants can give city-slickers a literal breath of fresh air »
- Island sanctuary brings hope to dwindling quokka population »
- 1.5 million people, 12 hours, 66 million trees: India's commitment to The Paris Agreement »
- The little Brown Antechinus makes a comeback at Sydney's North Head »
- How you can make the most of Planet Ark's new research into outdoor learning »
- Capturing Carbon to Tackle Climate Change »
- Futureproofing the Lockyer Valley with 20'000 trees »
- Dugong Numbers on the Rise Again in the Great Barrier Reef »
- Answering the Call to Connect With Nature »
- Scientist Discover Massive New Forests »
- 'Creature Compost' - Zoo Reduces Landfill and Generates Income »
- Travel Companies Put Kindness Before Profit in Animal Tourism »
- Thousands of Birds Descend Upon Inland Lakes »
- Trees Help Beat Urban Heat »
- Chile's National Parks Expand by 10 Million Acres »
- Old Televisions Converted to Bee Hotels »
- What if Rivers Could Sue? »
- Access to Nature Should be a Human Right - Report »
- Scientists Use Tasmanian Devil's Immune System to Beat Cancer »
- New Coral Reef Rewrites Textbooks »
- Launch of Positive Environment News »