Black-Striped Wallaby

Macropus dorsalis

The Black-Striped wallaby has a preference for forested country with dense under story.

Mammal books will tell you the the female is much smaller at 6-7.5kg and 65cm tall, compared to the male that can reach 1 meter and weigh18-20kg.

They are grayish brown, with reddish coloration on the shoulders and forearms, belly is creamy white, it has a distinctive white stripe on both hips, and the black stripe for which it it is named, from top of it’s head to just above the rump.

They spend the day resting under a small tree or bush, staying together at night in groups of up to 12 foraging for food in open grass country, but not too far form home, they will rarely venture more than about 1km, staying within 300 meters of cover.

Their home range is 90 hectares, but mainly live within 10-15 hectares.

Their main diet is grass.

Mammal books printed in 1991 will tell you that “the Black-Striped wallaby is one of the common Macropod’s of Eastern Australia, but little is known about this species due to it’s preference for habitat in which it can stay well hidden”

(Complete Book of Australian Mammals The Australian Museum 1991 edition)

Unfortunately it did not hide well enough, as books written in 2005 now tells us that “earlier in this century the Black-Striped wallaby was one the most abundant and species of wallabies in Central and southern Qld and Northern NSW. Since then ,tens of thousands have been snared and shot every year.

All but gone from it’s former habitat in New South Wales, this wallaby is also disappearing in Queensland as ground cover is cleared to create cattle pasture”

(Encyclopedia of Australian Wildlife, Readers Digest 2005 edition)

This species is now listed as Threatened as stated by NPWS:

The black-striped wallaby (Macropus dorsalis) is listed as ENDANGERED on the schedules of the NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act. The species was listed because:

  • Its population and distribution have been reduced to a critical level
  • It faces severe threatening processes
  • It is an ecological specialist (it depends on particular types of diet or habitat)
  • It has poor recovery potential