Yellow-footed rock wallaby
The yellow-footed rock wallaby, as its name suggests, is one of the most colourful members of the kangaroo family. Living in rocky terrain it has developed a way of using its short forelimbs rather like a tight rope performer's pole, to balance its acrobat jumps.
Head and body between 50-75cm long, tail length between 37-70cm.
One of the brightest members of the kangaroo family. The upper parts of the body are a light brownish grey, becoming greyer towards the rump. Yellow-footed rock wallabies have a white stripe on each cheek with yellow backed ears, a dark grey streak down the middle of their backs, dark grey patches on their yellow limbs, with yellow and tan stripy tails.
South Australia, Western New South Wales, South-western Queensland.
Mountain tops and rocky ramparts.
Mostly plant foods including grasses, seeds, tubers, bulbs and truffles. May also eat some invertebrates such as insects and beetle larvae.
Yellow-footed rock wallabies spend most of the day sheltering under rocks and boulders, each having their preferred refuge. Males compete for access to the shelters of particular females. They fight by kicking out with their back legs as they jump at one another, by grappling, biting, scratching and rolling on the ground. When jumping from rock to rock they hold out their front limbs at right angles to their body to balance themselves once they have landed.
Yellow-footed rock wallabies mate all year round, restricted only by food availability. The gestation period is 1 month, after which time the peanut-sized joey will climb up through its mother's fur and into her pouch, where it will stay for the next 8 months. Even if an egg has been fertilised, it will not develop in the mother's womb until the present joey has left the pouch.
The yellow-footed rock wallaby is listed by IUCN as 'Lower risk: near threatened'.