Brush-tailed rock-wallaby

 Petrogale penicillata

Brush-tailed rock wallabies are medium-sized with adult weight ranging from six to eight kg. They are adapted to their environment; they are agile and can climb almost vertical rocks using their distinctively bushy tail for balance and padded feet for grip. They are also able to climb tall trees using their strong legs and sharp claws.  

The Brush-tailed rock wallaby is listed as a Threatened Species, of the 15 species of rock wallabies in Australia, most have disappeared from their original ranges and are now considered threatened found only found in fragmented populations made up of family groups, consisting of two to five adults with juveniles and joeys on the East coast of Australia. Following the Great Dividing Range from southeast Queensland to Western Victoria’s Grampians they may be found on rocky escarpments, granite outcrops and cliffs which have caves and ledges for shelter and face north for warmth.

At dawn and dusk they come out to graze on native grasses, they will also feed on the foliage and fruits of shrubs and trees as well as roots and bark in surrounding habitat.

Hunted for their skins in times gone past saw a massive decline in numbers. Bushfires and loss of habitat continues to be of concern. Residential and tourist developments adjacent to some colonies are causing habitat modification, making it harder for these wallabies to find suitable shelter. Clearing of native vegetation, exotic plant invasion, competition with feral goats, sheep and rabbits has and is still forcing them to search for food outside their natural ranges. Feral and domestic dogs plus introduced foxes has and continue to have a major impact.

You can help preserve these unique animals by leaving your pets at home when you go into the bush, or if you choose to take your dog, keep it on a lead so that it does not chase wildlife.