COMMON WALLAROO

Macropus robustus

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.

Diet

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.

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Cpmon Wallaroo fact sheet

WALLAROO, ALBINO

Macropus robustus

Albino Wallaroos: this rare hereditary condition means that these animals lack the pigment melanin which gives colour to the skin. In the wild only approximately 1 in 10,000 wallaroos might be albino. In captivity however this breeding can be  encouraged to increase the chances of producing albino offspring.In the wild albino animals rarely live to maturity as they are  more vulnerable to predators. As They often have a compromised immune system as well as having a greater risk to skin cancer.  Albino animals are very sensitive to sunburn and their eyes sensitive to light. They naturally prefer to stay in shady areas. We apply sunscreen to our albino wallaroos to reduce the risk of skin cancer.

Did you know?

In a process known as embryonic diapause, the female Common Wallaroo is able to become pregnant again shortly after giving birth. However, the new embryo remains dormant until the first young is ready to leave the pouch or is lost, after which the new  embryo resumes development and is born when the pouch is vacant. This unusual form of reproduction, found in many macropods, means the female can quickly replace young lost to predators or drought, and can have embryos ready to develop as soon as conditions become favourable

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Albino Wallaroo fact sheet

You can pat and feed the Wallaroos in the Macropod Meadow. Open all day. ‘ROO FOOD can be purchased at the front desk at Billabong Zoo.