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Red-necked Wallaby (Macropus rufogriseus) Fact Sheet, 2011   Tags: australia, fact sheet, grazer, hop, joey, macropod, mammal, marsupial, necked, red, san diego zoo, sdzg, tasmania, wallaby  

Red-necked Wallaby Macropus rufogriseus
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Red-necked Wallaby (Macropus rufogriseus) Fact Sheet, 2011

Red-necked Wallaby

Image credit: © San Diego Zoo Global. All rights reserved.

TaxonomyPhysical Characteristics

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Mammalia

Order: Diprotodontia - koalas, wombats, possums, macropods (kangaroos, tree kangaroos, wallaroos, etc.)

Family: Macropodidae - kangaroos, wallabies

Genus: Macropus

Species: Macropus rufogriseus (Desmarest, 1817) - red-necked wallaby

Subspecies: M. r. banksianus (Quoy and Gaimard, 1825) - red wallaby
Subspecies: M. r. fruticus (Ogilby, 1838)
Subspecies: M. r. rufogriseus (Desmarest, 1817) - Bennett's wallaby

Body Weight
Male: M. r. banksianus: 15-23.7 kg (33.1-55.3 lb); M. r. rufogriseus: 15-26.8 kg (33.1- 59.1 lb)
Female: M. r. banksianus: 12-15.5 kg (26.5-34.2 lb); M. r. rufogriseus: 11-15.5 kg (24.3-34.2 lb)

Head-body Length
Male: M. r. banksianus: 770-888 mm (2.5-2.9 ft); M. r. rufogriseus: 712-923 mm (2.3-3 ft)
Female: M. r. banksianus: 708-837mm (2.3-2.8 ft); M. r. rufogriseus: 659-741 mm (2.2-2.4 ft)

Tail Length
Male: M. r. banksianus: 703-876 mm (2.3-2.9 ft); M. r. rufogriseus: 691-862 mm (2.3-2.8 ft)
Female: M. r. banksianus: 664-790 mm (2.2-2.6 ft); M. r. rufogriseus: 623-778 mm (2.0-2.6 ft)

Pelage
Gray, red, and brown on body; white and gray on belly. Australian populations have short, coarse fur. Tasmanian populations have longer, shaggy fur.

Distribution & StatusBehavior & Ecology

Range
Southeastern Australia and Tasmania

Habitat
Eucalyptus forests with grasses and shrubs making up the understory

IUCN Status
Least Concern

CITES Appendix
Not listed

Population in Wild
Stable. Very common in Tasmania. Mixture of decreasing and increasing populations in mainland Australia.

Locomotion
Two- and four-legged hopping; sometimes use tail as a "fifth support limb." Good swimmers; doggie paddle.

Activity Cycle
Active at night, dawn, and dusk. Daytime hours spent resting.

Social Groups
Found singly or in small groups; often solitary.

Diet
Primarily, grasses, leaves, forbs. Some fruit, ferns, and fungi. Often feed in high elevation areas.

Predators
Dingos, raptors, and humans

Reproduction & DevelopmentSpecies Highlights

Sexual Maturity
Females: from 13 months
Males: from 19 months

Gestation
About 30 days (range: 29-41)

Litter Size
Typically 1

Interbirth Interval
Another birth occurs 16-29 days after the young permanently leaves the pouch.

Birth Weight
Less than 1 g (0.04 oz)

Age at Weaning
14-17 months

Longevity
In the wild: 10-15 years
In captivity: 6-15 years

Feature Facts

  • Many Bennett's wallabies bones found in Tasmanian caves; hunted by early humans
  • Wild populations reintroduced to New Zealand
  • Group dynamics very fluid
  • Communicate using their ears, narrow set of vocalizations (growl, hiss, cough, cluck), and scent marking
  • Reproduce efficiently; easily bred in captivity
  • Young first emerge from pouch around 7 months
  • Adult males can be up to twice as large as females
  • Like other macropods, develop and lose four sets of molar teeth over a lifetime; teeth wear down from eating tough plants
  • Ice Age (Pleistocene Era) predators of this species: Tasmanian wolves and Marsupial lions
  • Populations stable; commercially harvested; ranchers and farmers sometimes perceive them to threaten crops and sheep food supplies in pastures
 

About This Fact Sheet

© 2011 San Diego Zoo Global.

How to cite: Red-necked Wallaby (Macropus rufogriseus) Fact Sheet, 2011. c2011. San Diego (CA): San Diego Zoo Global; [accessed YYYY Mmm dd]. http://ielc.libguides.com/sdzg/factsheets/red-necked wallaby
(note: replace YYYY Mmm dd with date accessed, e.g., 2015 Sep 10)

Disclaimer: Although San Diego Zoo Global makes every attempt to provide accurate information, some of the facts provided may become outdated or replaced by new research findings. Questions and comments may be addressed to library@sandiegozoo.org.

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