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Red-necked Wallaby (Macropus rufogriseus) Fact Sheet: Diet & Feeding

Red-necked Wallaby Macropus rufogriseus

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

Lovin' Leaves

Red-necked wallaby eating leaves

A red-necked wallaby munching on leaves.

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

Page Citations

Southwell & Jarman (1987)
Sprent & McArthur (2002)
Tyndale-Biscoe (2005)

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