swamp wallaby

Wallabia bicolour

The Swamp wallaby is found in eastern and southern Australia from Cape York to South western Victoria. They prefer thick undergrowth in the forest. They hide in thick grass and dense bush during the day, and come out at dusk to browse for food. They eat a variety of grasses, shrubs and ferns.

It is dark brown above, light brown to yellow below with a light brown cheek stripe. Extremities are usually darker, but can vary depending on area. Distinguished from other Wallabies by it’s dark colour, gait is also different, holding the head low, tail straight out behind. The swamp wallaby is in fact quite different from other wallabies, and is classified as the only living member of the genus Wallabia. 

The genus Macropus has 16 chromosomes, the Swamp Wallaby male has 11 and 10 in the female.

 Weight for an adult male is 17 kg. females 13 kg. This can vary depending on area.

Head and body length for males is on average 76cm. females 70cm. Tail length for males is 76cm, females 69cm average.

The swamp wallaby has a broad fourth premolar tooth, which is never shed, and is used for eating course plant material. The Swamp Wallaby breeds all year round, and is sexually mature at 15-18 months old. After a gestation period of 33-38 days only one young is born.

The joey stays in the pouch till it is about 8-9 months old, but will still stick its head in the pouch for a drink till it is approximately 15 months old.

The Swamp wallaby is a solitary animal but will aggregate when feeding.

It is interesting that the Swamp wallaby will eat Bracken Fern, believed to be poisonous to cattle.

Main threats  are motor vehicles, the fox, dingo, large birds of prey, python snakes and unfortunately domestic dogs.

Reference: The Australian Museum. 1996. “The Complete book of Australian Mammals.”

Ronald Strahan. “Encyclopedia of Australian Animals”

The Australian Museum.”The National Photographic index of Australian Wildlife.