Eastern Wallaroo


ORDER: Diprotodontia

FAMILY: Macropodidae

GENUS: Macropus

SPECIES: robustus

DESCRIPTION:
Large, stocky, powerfully-built rock kangaroo, smaller than the red or great grey and larger than the wallabies. Males weigh 50 to 100 pounds, females 40 to 50 to pounds. Body length: male - 40 to 56 inches (100-140 cm); female - 30 to 40 inches (75-100 cm). They have shaggy dark gray fur, almost black in the adult males. Wallaroos are distinguished from other kangaroos by their bare, black snout.

GEOGRAPHICAL RANGE AND HABITAT:
Inhabit the mountainous pastures of eastern Australia, from Victoria to Queensland. Prefer to live in areas of rocky outcrops or stony ground.

DIET:
Grasses, shrubs.

LIFE CYCLE/SOCIAL STRUCTURE:
Relatively solitary, but come together at preferred spots for feeding, water, or shade. Live in high rock outcrops during the day and descend to feed in the grasses of the flat meadows at night. Sexually mature at 18-24 months. May breed throughout year. After a 32-day pregnancy, a blind, hairless baby less than an inch in size is born. After climbing to the pouch, the joey attaches to one of the nipples and remains attached for the next seventy days. First trips from the pouch are made at six months of age and at nine months, the joey is no longer allowed in the pouch. At any one time, a female may have a dormant young in the uterus, a joey in the pouch, and a joey at foot. Life expectancy is 17-18 years.

SPECIAL ADAPTATIONS:
Very agile. Furry pads on feet are good for rock climbing. Will actively dig for water, sometimes up to one meter deep; they also conserve body water by hiding in hollows under boulders during hottest part of day. Wallaroos are the kangaroo best adapted to heat and dryness.

INTERPRETIVE INFORMATION:
The western subspecies are called euros.

OUR ANIMALS:
We have a small mob of wallaroos, all acquired or born here since 1995. 2 joeys (baby wallaroos) were born in 2011.

STATUS IN WILD:
Not endangered at present.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

  1. Grzimek, Bernhard. 1972. Grzimek's Animal Life Encyclopedia, Vol. 10, Van Nostrand Reinhold Co., New York.
  2. Kinzley, Coleen. 1993. "Life in a Pouch". The Roar, Fall, 1993.
  3. Nowak, Ronald. 1991. Walker's Mammals of the World, 5th Ed., Vol. I, Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, MD. EC:9/93 ,CL 11/96

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