Yellow-footed Rock-wallaby (Petrogale xanthopus) - Wiki
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[Photo] Yellow-footed Rock-wallaby, Flinders Ranges, South Australia. Date 2005-07-13. Author Stephen Reynolds User:Tophonic
The Yellow-footed Rock-wallaby (Petrogale xanthopus) is a member of the macropod family (the marsupial family that includes the kangaroos, wallabies, tree-kangaroos, wallaroos, and others).
The Yellow-footed Rock-wallaby is grey-brown with a yellow striped tail, white underside, yellow forearms and yellow feet. A fully grown adult will stand 60 cm high and weighs 7-13 kg.
This rock-wallaby is found in western New South Wales, northwestern Victoria, the east of South Australia and even small bits of Queensland. It does not usually live in places near humans, for it prefers a rocky environment.
At least one subspecies of this nocturnal diprotodont (P. x. xanthopus) appears on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species as Vulnerable. The subspecies has a population of only about 5,000-10,000 in Queensland, is present in small numbers in the Flinders Ranges of South Australia and known from only the Gap and Cotraundee Ranges in New South Wales.
The other subspecies (P. x. celeris) is listed at Near Threatened. This species prefers rock crevices and caves in isolated rock outcrops and ridges in semi-arid country. It is threatened by fox predation, competition with domestic and wild introduced species (particularly goats, rabbits, and sheep), and wildfires.
In New South Wales the Yellow-footed Rock-wallaby was first recorded in 1964 in the Coturaundee Ranges, now part of Mutawintji National Park. The two small mountain ranges in the far west of the state are still the only known places where the species survives in New South Wales.
The habitat of the surviving population was on private land, granting no protection for the colony. Scientists were certain that without immediate action the Yellow-footed Rock-wallaby would become extinct in New South Wales.
In 1979, the Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife purchased 100 square kilometres of this land, which then became Coturaundee Nature Reserve, for the conservation and protection of the Yellow-footed Rock Wallaby. Further funds were allocated to fox and goat eradication.
Annual surveys of the area, which is now part of Mutawintji National Park, confirm that the population is now recovering, having grown every year since 1995. There are now between 300 and 400 wallabies.
The recovery strategy that saved the Yellow-footed Rock-wallaby now serves now as a model to preserve other rock-wallabies including the Brush-tailed Rock-wallaby from extinction.
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