Rock-wallaby Petrogale penicillata can still be found
living in rocky, remote areas in and around the Warrumbungle National
Park near Coonabarabran. NSW, Australia. The Warrumbungles population
of Brush-tailed Rock-wallaby was listed as an endangered
population in 1997. It is currently estimated to be only
between 15 and 50 individuals. They are living at the most western
extreme of the Brush-tailed Rock-wallaby's known range. In July
2003 the status of the Brush-tailed Rock-wallaby in NSW was changed
from vulnerable to endangered so the particular
endangered population status no longer applies. However, the Warrumbungles
population remains of special concern.
The Brush-tailed Rock-wallaby is a small, attractive
animal with distinctive facial markings and a long bushy tail.
It displays amazing agility in moving up and down sheer rock faces
and is found associated with steep, rugged, rocky sites. Brush-tailed
Rock Wallabies are usually found in small groups or colonies using
a number of rocky sites. Seven colonies, each consisting of from
one to ten individuals, have been located in the Warrumbungles
although there is concern that several of these may have died
out or moved.
The National Parks and Wildlife Service together
with community groups (Coonabarabran Landcare Group, Goorianawa
Landcare Group, Warrumbungle Landcare Group and Friends of the
Warrumbungle Brush-tailed Rock-wallaby) and local landowners (adjoining
the National Park) have taken steps to try to arrest the decline
in rock-wallaby numbers and encourage some increase. This has
been principally done by population monitoring (using scats or
dung), community awareness, fox baiting, aerial control of feral
goats and fire control. There has been some initial positive signs
from this strategy including a significanf reduction in fox numbers
and the noting of juvenile wallabies in one colony.
If you would like to join or help the Friends
of the Warrumbungle Brush-tailed Rock-wallaby and assist in the
preservation this unique endangered wallaby please contact us.
Details are on the Contacts page.