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Red-necked Wallaby (Macropus rufogriseus) Fact Sheet: Summary

Red-necked Wallaby Macropus rufogriseus

Red-necked Wallaby (Macropus rufogriseus) Fact Sheet

Red-necked wallaby

Red-necked Wallaby (Macropus rufogriseus)

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


Taxonomy Physical 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 (33.1-52.2 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 & Status Behavior & 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 & Development Species 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

Typical Life Expectancy
Managed care: median life expectancy of about 5 years

Feature Facts

  • Many Bennett's wallaby 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 managed care
  • Young first emerge from pouch at about seven months old
  • 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
  • Tasmanian Wolves and Marsupial Lions were Ice Age (Pleistocene Era) predators of this species
  • Commercially harvested; ranchers and farmers sometimes perceive these wallabies as a threat to crops and sheep food supplies in pastures

About This Fact Sheet

For detailed information, click the tabs at the top of this page.

© 2011-2018 San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance. Population and Conservation Statuses updated April 2018.


How to cite: Red-necked Wallaby (Macropus rufogriseus) Fact Sheet. c2011. San Diego (CA): San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance; [accessed YYYY Mmm dd]. wallaby
(note: replace YYYY Mmm dd with date accessed, e.g., 2015 Sep 10)


Disclaimer: Although San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance 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

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