This is the "Summary" page of the "Red-necked Wallaby (Macropus rufogriseus) Fact Sheet, 2011" guide.
Alternate Page for Screenreader Users
Skip to Page Navigation
Skip to Page Content
sdzglibrarybanner San Diego Zoo Global Library

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
Last Updated: Jan 27, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

Summary Print Page

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)

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

Southeastern Australia and Tasmania

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.

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.

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

Dingos, raptors, and humans

Reproduction & DevelopmentSpecies Highlights

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

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

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]. 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

SDZG Library Links

Our Mission. The Library is dedicated to supporting San Diego Zoo Global’s mission by providing outstanding
information resources and research services to advance knowledge and strengthen our organization’s capacity to save
species worldwide. Our Vision. We will empower San Diego Zoo Global to lead the fight against extinction by serving as
the organization’s information hub and facilitating research of the highest quality.

© 2016 San Diego Zoo Global — All Rights Reserved

Our Family of Sites

  • Zoo logoSan Diego Zoo
  • Park logoSan Diego Zoo Safari Park
  • ICR logoSan Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research
  • SDZ Global logoSan Diego Zoo Global

Loading  Loading...