These beautiful marsupial acrobats bound across Australia’s rocky outcrops and rugged cliffs. However, many of our 16 species of rock-wallaby are threatened and have disappeared from much of their original range.
Click here for more information on the IUCN levels of threatened species.
Rock-wallabies are an internationally-recognised group for the study of species development and chromosome evolution in kangaroos and wallabies.
Threats to rock-wallabies
Life has long been challenging for rock-wallabies. Historically, hunting for the fur trade (now outlawed) caused a sharp decline in the numbers of many species of rock-wallaby.
The clearing of native vegetation, weed invasion and changed fire patterns have deprived subsequent wallaby generations of available habitat, hungry foxes and cats have taken their toll, and wallabies now compete with livestock, feral goats and rabbits for food. This competition forces them beyond their natural ranges.
In New South Wales, where only two colonies of yellow-footed rock-wallabies remain – 10 kilometres distant from one another – the species faces a serious threat of extinction.
What is WWF doing for rock-wallabies?
Rock-wallabies aren’t found anywhere else on Earth so, as Australians, we’re the guardians of this unique group of marsupials.
Sixteen species and eight subspecies of rock-wallaby live on our continent. Rock-wallabies comprise our largest group of macropods (kangaroos, wallabies and their relatives), representing 22% of remaining species.
One of the most important means of recovery for threatened species and communities is the protection of their habitat.
Two-thirds of Australia is privately-managed rural land. Private landholders play an increasingly important role in the conservation of biodiversity across Australia.
If you manage, live on or own land that is habitat for rock wallabies, please contact your local Landcare office to find out ways that you can help.
If you don’t live near a rock wallaby habitat, you can donate to WWF to help us protect endangered Australian species like rock wallabies.
Australia - Queensland, NSW, Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia, Northern Territory
Max head to tail: 1.2 m
IUCN: as least concern through to endangered
Did you know?
Sixteen species and eight subspecies of rock-wallaby live in Australia.
Our past threatened species work
Go to our TSN pages (archived)