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Diet and Feeding
- Primarily a grazer (Sprent & McArthur 2002) but also a browser (Tyndale-Biscoe 2005)
- Grasses comprise 74% of total diet in a Tasmanian population studied
- Also eat broad-leafed plants (non-grass forbs)
- In a study of the effects of pasture burning on grazing habits in New South Wales, Australia at Wallaby Creek (Southwell & Jarman 1987):
- Cattle, kangaroos and red-necked wallabies each responded to fire impacts differently
- Kangaroos returned to burned areas within days and fed on new green grass shoots
- Their mouths and teeth are well-suited to clipping small clumps of shoots
- Cattle abandoned pastures for the first month, returning during the second month and had peak use in the third month
- They are bulk-feeders; need big mouthfuls of grass to chew in each bite
- Red-necked wallabies didn't increase their use of burned areas until several months after a burn
- Wallabies may have sought emerging flowers or seed heads
- Kangaroos and wallabies both showed a decline in use of the pasture during times when cattle were present
A red-necked wallaby munching on leaves.
Image credit: © San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance. All rights reserved.
Southwell & Jarman (1987)
Sprent & McArthur (2002)
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