Yellow-Footed Rock-Wallaby
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Petrogale xanthopus
"yellow-footed rock-weasel"

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other name

Ring-Tailed Rock-Wallaby

DESCRIPTION

Head and body length 480-650mm, with the average being around 600mm. Tail length between 570 and 700mm. Weight from 6 to 11kg. Fawn-grey colouring above with white below. Distinct white cheeck stripe. Ears are orange. Rich brown mid-dorsal stripe from crown of head to centre of back. Buff-white side stripe and brown and white hip stripes. Forelimbs, hindlimbs and feet are rich orange to bright yellow. Tail orange-brown with irregular dark brown markings. Tail tip can be white or dark brown. Subspecies Petrogale xanthopus celeris is similar to the main species but generally paler in colour; dorsal stripe is black and there is light orange-brown colouring above eyes, ears are grey-brown, forelimbs and hindlimbs and base of tail light orange-brown, tail markings less pronounced.

The Yellow-Footed Rock-Wallaby is a beautifully coloured wallaby associated mainly with the Flinders Ranges in South Australia. An equally large population was discovered in the mid 1980's in the ranges of the Adavale Basin in south-west Queensland. There are two sub-species of the Yellow-Footed Rock-Wallaby; Petrogale xanthopus xanthopus occupies the Flinders Ranges, Gawler Ranges and Olary Hills of South Australia and the Gap and Cotarundee ranges of New South Wales; Petrogale xanthopus celeris occupies the Gown, Grey, Cheviot, Yangang and Macedon Ranges, bounded by Adavale, Blackall and Stonehence in south-western Queensland. . The Yellow-Tailed Rock-Wallaby inhabits semi-arid country, with most populations found in areas with permenant fresh water which may be restricted to soaks at rock face edges. The wallaby lives in colonies of up to 100 individuals in areas of suitably rocky outcrops where there is a greater diversity of plants. The home range of one individual is around 150-200 hectares and homerange boundaries overlap with others in the colony. The wallabies numbers have reduced dramatically since European settlement due to hunting for skins. In the drought period of 1982 to 1983 numbers dropped by as much as 60%. When the drought broke numbers rose in many areas, however the feral goat population in some areas kept the numbers depressed. In the summer months the wallaby is strictly nocturnal to avoid the insense heat of the day, however in winter months there is some daytime activity.


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