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Parma Wallaby (Macropus parma) Fact Sheet: Managed Care

Parma Wallaby Macropus parma

History of Mananged Care

North America

  • Association of Zoos and Aquaria (AZA) institutions
    • Current zoo population founded in 1966-1967 with individuals from Kawau Island, New Zealand (T. Giezendanner, personal communication)
    • 25 males and 46 females in 23 institutions reported as of Feb 2014 (J. Hartman, personal communication)

San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance (SDZG)

  • First parma wallabies arrived at the San Diego Zoo 1966-1967
    • 4 females, 2 males caught wild from feral population, Kawau Island, New Zealand


Diet in Managed Care (Jackson 2003; Staker 2006)

  • Grasses, lucerne hay, maize, carrots
  • Ruminant pellets
  • Leaves of apple, pear, and willow trees

Rearing in Managed Care (Miller 2001)

  • Joeys (young) may be lost from pouch due to stress or other reasons
  • Key issues - heat loss and dehydration
  • Hand-reared joey
    • Kept in substitute pouch made of soft material
    • Bottle-fed with a special marsupial nipple
    • Solid foods (fruit, vegetables, pellets, small amounts of fresh grass) introduced when teeth begin to erupt

Issues in Managed Care (Maynes 1973; Miller 2001)

  • Stress management, health problems associated with stress
  • Male-male aggression, management of surplus males
  • Low fertility may be caused by overcrowding

Leaving Mother's Pouch

A seven-month-old Parma wallaby joey at the San Diego Zoo has a hoppin' good time checking out its habitat for the first time.

© San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance. All rights reserved.

Care in a Pouch

parma wallaby being bottle fed

A parma wallaby joey at the San Diego Zoo finishes a bottle.

When not parent-reared, wallaby and kangaroo joeys in zoos are made substitute pouches and fed from bottles with special nipples for marsupials.

Image credit: © San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance. All rights reserved.

Page Citations

Hartman (2011)
Jackson (2003)
Maynes (1973)
Miller (2001)
Staker (2006)

SDZWA Library Links