Wallaroos are macropods (herbivorous marsupials) closely related to kangaroos & wallabys. The Common Wallaroo is stocky with coarse, shaggy fur, a hairless nose, a short, thick tail & a distinctive upright hopping style. Coat colour varies from reddish-brown to a very dark blue-grey, almost black, & they are generally lighter on the underparts. The male is up to twice the size of the female.
Distribution & Habitat
The Common Wallaroo is widely distributed throughout most of Australia, except Tasmania.
Often referred to as a ‘hill kangaroo’, it typically inhabits mountainous areas, rocky hills & steep escarpments, although it may also be found in stony rises, grasslands & plains.
It’s herbivorous (feeds on plants) & its diet consists mostly of soft-textured grasses, shrub foliage & coarse tussock grasses. It can survive 2 or 3 months without drinking, obtaining the water it needs from the food it eats.
Life expectancy & Breeding
Individuals may live for over 18 years in the wild. Males reach sexual maturity at around 18 – 20 months & females at 14 – 24 months. The male is polygynous (having more than one female partner) & able to breed throughout the year, although often ceasing reproduction during prolonged droughts. A single, tiny young ‘joey’ is born after a gestation period of 30 – 38 days, after which it climbs, unaided, through the female’s fur & into the pouch, where it attaches to a teat and begins to suckle. Most development takes place within the pouch, the young Common Wallaroo emerging after around 231 – 270 days . The young is suckled for at least 12 to 14 months.