Billabong Zoo is home to two wallaby species:
- Red-necked Wallaby
- Swamp Wallaby
Also known as Bennett’s Wallaby, Red-necked Wallabies are named for the reddish fur on their napes and shoulders. The rest of the body is fawny grey with a white chest and belly. The tail is grey above and white below. The muzzle is dark brown and the ears are longer in proportion to other macropods. Males grow faster than females and can be up to twice as large. Because wallaby vocal cords are very undeveloped, their calls are simply growls, hisses and coughs. Males make a soft clucking sound during sexual interactions. Males establish dominance via fighting. Red-necked Wallabies travel by hopping, although they are also good swimmers by using front and hind limbs “dog-paddle” style.
Distribution and habitat
This species is endemic to Australia where it ranges through the south-east of the country and is common in Tasmania. They prefer dry open forests with some brushy undergrowth, They are mostly solitary, but may aggregate to feed.
Commonly seen early mornings and late evenings, they are primarily grazers with grasses comprising the bulk of their diet but will also eat broad-leafed plants.
Life expectancy and breeding
Females give birth to a single young weighing less than 1g at birth. The population on Tasmania breeds seasonally, while the mainland population breeds throughout the year. The gestation period is 30 days. Pouch life is about 280 days and weaning occurs at 12-17 months. In the wild they live between 10-15 years (6-15 years in captivity). Dingoes and Wedge-tailed Eagles are their chief predators.