Black-flanked rock-wallaby

The black-flanked rock-wallaby (Petrogale lateralis), also known as the black-footed rock-wallaby or warru, is a kind of wallaby, one of several rock-wallabies in the genus Petrogale.

Black-flanked rock-wallaby[1]
Black-footed Rock-wallaby(small)
Scientific classification
P. lateralis
Binomial name
Petrogale lateralis
(Gould, 1842)
Black-flanked Rock Wallaby area
Black-flanked rock-wallaby range
(blue — native, pink — reintroduced)


The black-flanked rock-wallaby is a rather wary animal, with black and grey colouration to blend in with its rocky surroundings, later to lighten in colour during summer. It has short, thick, woolly fur that is particularly dense around the base of the tail, rump and flanks. Its long, brushy tail is quite useful for retaining balance as they hop from one rock to another, and the soles of its feet are highly textured to prevent slipping.

This small nocturnal wallaby is found amid rocky outcrops. It is generally greyish-brown with a paler belly and chest, a dark stripe running from its head down its spine, and it has a dark tail and feet.[3]

This wallaby lives in groups of 10–100 individuals. It usually feeds at night in open areas such as grasses, where it can also find fruit, leaves and a variety of herbs. Because most of its water comes from its diet, it rarely drinks and can conserve water by taking refuge from the heat in rocky caves. It is most active when it leaves its shelter at early-evening. Individuals reach sexual maturity at 1–2 years of age, after which time breeding is continuous, depending on rainfall. Females show embryonic diapause; the development of the embryo can cease temporarily until environmental conditions become more suitable for its development to complete. The gestation period lasts around 30 days, and like other young marsupials, the young are poorly developed and suckle inside the mother's pouch until they are ready to leave. Unlike other kangaroos and wallabies, mothers leave their young in a sheltered place while they feed.

Predation by introduced foxes and feral cats, habitat damage caused by sheep, goats and rabbits and alteration of fire regimes have caused the population to decline. Several sites where populations occur are protected, and a recovery plan is underway. Fox control has been established at several sites.


The species was first described by John Gould in 1842. There are at least two subspecies besides the nominate subspecies:[1]

A description published as Petrogale lateralis purpureicollis (purple-necked rock-wallaby) by Le Souef in 1924 is given in some listings,[4] but this is now regarded as a distinct species.[1] The specimens obtained at the MacDonnell Ranges, and from the Western Kimberley, are also distinct enough to be separate subspecies of the black-flanked rock-wallaby. These populations, and the recognised subspecies, are distinguished by chromosomal as well as morphological distinctions.[5]

Endangered status

Petrogale lateralis - Gould
Illustration from Gould's Mammals of Australia, 1863[6]

The Australian Commonwealth Government's Department of Environment and Water Resources lists the black-flanked rock-wallaby as having 'Vulnerable' status and cites various habitats in Western Australia.[7] The subspecies found at the Recherche Archipelago was assessed as a vulnerable species in 2006.[8]

In South Australia, the Adelaide Advertiser reported on Monday October 1, 2007 that:

The race is on to save the black-flanked rock-wallaby from extinction and captive breeding programs at Monarto Zoo and Adelaide Zoo are showing early promise.

The State Government claims there are just 50 animals left in the wild in South Australia[9] and the Advertiser article described the process of moving 15 wallabies to captivity in South Australia, with known native locations to be at Pukatja / Ernabella in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara or 'APY' Lands and also at New Well, some 300 km east of Adelaide.[10]


  1. ^ a b c Groves, C.P. (2005). Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M., eds. Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 68. ISBN 0-801-88221-4. OCLC 62265494.
  2. ^ Burbidge, A.; Woinarski, J.; Reed, J.; van Weenen, J.; Moseby, C. & Morris, K. (2008). "Petrogale lateralis". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2008. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 29 December 2008.
  3. ^ Australian Geographic - October - December 2015 - P 75
  4. ^ Vulnerable animals list at Archived March 21, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Elbridge, M. D. B., & Close, R. L. (1995). Strahan, R. ed. Mammals of Australia. Reed Books. pp. 377-381. ISBN 1-56098-673-5.
  6. ^ Mammals of Australia, Vol. II Plate 42, London, 1863
  7. ^ Dept Environment & Water Resources Website Retrieved on October 2, 2007
  8. ^ Australasian Marsupial & Monotreme Specialist Group (1996). "Petrogale lateralis ssp. hacketti". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2006. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 2008-03-22.
  9. ^ SA Government Ministers Press Releases Archived August 31, 2007, at the Wayback Machine Minister Gago, May 17, 2007 Retrieved on October 2, 2007
  10. ^ Adelaide Advertiser, Monday, October 1, 2007, page 16

Bettong, species of the genus Bettongia, are potoroine marsupials once common in Australia. They are important ecological engineers displaced during the colonisation of the continent, and vulnerable to the threatening factors such as altered fire regimes, land clearing, pastoralism and the introduced predatory species such as the fox and cat.


Burramys is a genus of the family Burramyidae, and is represented by one living and 3 extinct (fossil) species. It is one of two genera of pygmy possum, the other being Cercartetus.

Central Ranges xeric scrub

The Central Ranges xeric scrub is a deserts and xeric shrublands ecoregion of Australia.


Cuscus ( or ) is the common name generally given to the species within the four genera of Australasian possum:




StrigocuscusThe name is also applied in parts of Indonesia to the Sunda slow loris, where people do not distinguish this from the "kuskus" possums. Note however, that the loris, being a primate, is unrelated to the other cuscus species, which are marsupials, even though they had some appearances, traits and attributes like those of lemurs of Madagascar which are prosimians.


Dactylopsila is a genus of marsupial in the family Petauridae.

It contains the following species:

Great-tailed triok, Dactylopsila megalura

Long-fingered triok, Dactylopsila palpator

Tate's triok, Dactylopsila tatei

Striped possum, Dactylopsila trivirgata


Dorcopsulus is a genus of marsupial in the family Macropodidae. It contains the following species:

Macleay's dorcopsis (Dorcopsulus macleayi)

Small dorcopsis (Dorcopsulus vanheurni)

Local extinction

Local extinction or extirpation is the condition of a species (or other taxon) that ceases to exist in the chosen geographic area of study, though it still exists elsewhere. Local extinctions are contrasted with global extinctions.

Local extinctions may be followed by a replacement of the species taken from other locations; wolf reintroduction is an example of this.


Macropodidae is a family of marsupials, commonly known as kangaroos, wallabies, tree-kangaroos, wallaroos, pademelons, quokkas, and several other terms. These genera are allied to the suborder Macropodiformes, containing other macropods, and are native to the Australian continent, the mainland and Tasmania, and in New Guinea or nearby islands.

Mountain pademelon

The mountain pademelon (Thylogale lanatus) is one of seven species of the genus Thylogale. It is found only in Papua New Guinea.

Newhaven Sanctuary

Newhaven Sanctuary, once known as Newhaven station, lies 363 kilometres (226 mi) north-west of Alice Springs at the junction of three distinct bioregions: the Great Sandy Desert, MacDonnell Ranges and Burt Plain in the Northern Territory of Australia.

It was established when Newhaven Station, a pastoral cattle-grazing property in the arid zone of the Northern Territory was purchased by Birds Australia in December 2000 from the then owner, Alex Coppock, in order to conserve its outstanding natural values. At 2,622 square kilometres (1,012 sq mi) in area, Newhaven is five times the size of Birds Australia's other reserve, Gluepot, in South Australia.

Newhaven's landforms include parallel dunes, salt lakes, claypans, plains and rocky hills. Vegetation includes grasslands, woodlands and shrublands, which can be subdivided into ten distinct vegetation communities, with over 100 species of plants recorded.

Several threatened species of birds and other animals have been recorded on Newhaven. These include the grey falcon, night parrot, princess parrot, striated grasswren, grey honeyeater, mulgara, black-flanked rock-wallaby, greater bilby, marsupial mole and great desert skink.

Newhaven is surrounded by Aboriginal lands. People from the Warlpiri, Luritja and Anmatyerre language groups have a traditional association with the area. Aboriginal sacred sites have been identified on the property.

In December 2005 Birds Australia signed an agreement with the Australian Wildlife Conservancy (AWC) that saw AWC assume ownership and day-to-day financial responsibility for Newhaven, while allowing for Birds Australia to have long-term involvement in the management of the reserve, Birds Australia members to have access, and ensuring the conservation of the flora and fauna.

The construction of the world's longest cat-proof fence was completed at Newhaven in April 2018 enclosing a 9,390 hectares (23,203 acres) predator free area.

Paruna Sanctuary

Paruna Sanctuary is a 20-square-kilometre (7.7 sq mi) nature reserve in the Avon Valley, 50 kilometres (31 mi) north-east of Perth in south-west Western Australia. It is in the Avon-Wheatbelt Bioregion and is owned and managed by the Australian Wildlife Conservancy (AWC).


The Phascolarctidae (Phascolos - pouch or bag, Arctos - bear, from the Greek phascolos + arctos meaning pouched bear) are a family of marsupials of the order Diprotodontia, consisting of only one extant species, the koala, and six well-known fossil species, with another five less well known fossil species, and two fossil species of the genus Koobor, whose taxonomy is debatable but are placed in this group. The closest relatives of the Phascolarctidae are the wombats, which comprise the family Vombatidae.The fossil record of the family dates back to the Middle Miocene or Late Oligocene.


Pseudochirops is a genus of marsupial in the family Pseudocheiridae.

It contains the following species:

D'Albertis' ringtail possum, Pseudochirops albertisii

Green ringtail possum, Pseudochirops archeri

Plush-coated ringtail possum, Pseudochirops corinnae

Reclusive ringtail possum, Pseudochirops coronatus

Coppery ringtail possum, Pseudochirops cupreus

Purple-necked rock-wallaby

The purple-necked rock-wallaby (Petrogale purpureicollis) is a species of rock-wallaby first described in 1924 by Albert Sherbourne Le Souef, then director of the Taronga Zoo in Sydney, Australia, who noted a purple colouration around the neck and cranial features that distinguish it from other rock-wallaby species.

The purple colouration was thought by some sceptical scientists to be due to the animal rubbing against a dye, but the animal does in fact secrete a purple pigment. The pigment is known to wash off in the rain and fade away after death, causing some possible confusion with other rock-wallaby species.

The species has undergone taxonomic upheaval for decades and has variously been classified as an unadorned rock-wallaby, brush-tailed rock-wallaby, and black-flanked rock-wallaby. Le Souef and others have asserted that it was a new species, and this has been affirmed by a 2001 paper in the Australian Journal of Zoology.

Recherche Archipelago

The Archipelago of the Recherche, known locally as the Bay of Isles, is a group of 105 islands, and over 1200 "obstacles to shipping", off the south coast of Western Australia. The islands stretch 230 km (140 mi) from east to west and to 50 km (31 mi) off-shore encompassing an area of approximately 4,000 square kilometres (1,544 sq mi).

The western group is near Esperance and the eastern group at Israelite Bay. They are located in coastal and inland waters, part of which is designated the Recherche Archipelago Nature Reserve.


The rock-wallabies are the wallabies of the genus Petrogale.

Salisbury Island (Recherche Archipelago)

Salisbury Island is located in the Recherche Archipelago off the south coast of Western Australia.The island occupies an area of 320 hectares (791 acres), the third largest island in the Recherche Archipelago. It is situated approximately 140 kilometres (87 mi) east of Esperance and 60 kilometres (37 mi) off the coast near the edge of the continental shelf making it one of the southern most islands in the archipelago.The island is formed from a massive limestone scarp that sits atop a granite dome. Many caves are found throughout the island both above and below water.Indigenous Australians are thought to have inhabited the island up to 18,000 years ago. Archeologists have found ancient artefacts on the island such as stone blades, lizard traps, axe heads, grinding stones and granite watering holes. The objects are believed to be 5,000 to 18,000 years old from a time when many of the islands were joined to the mainland.The Rodondo was thought to be wrecked on Polloch Reef off Salisbury Island in 1895.The island is a breeding ground for the Australian fur seal and the New Zealand fur seal and also supports a population of the black-flanked rock-wallaby. the bush rat.In the waters surrounding the island great white sharks are known to congregate in large numbers preying on the seals and the many schools of fish that live among the limestone reefs and granite outcrops.


Spilocuscus is a genus of marsupial in the family Phalangeridae.

It contains the following species:

Admiralty Island cuscus, Spilocuscus kraemeri

Common spotted cuscus, Spilocuscus maculatus

Waigeou cuscus, Spilocuscus papuensis

Black-spotted cuscus, Spilocuscus rufoniger

Blue-eyed spotted cuscus, Spilocuscus wilsoni

Stein's cuscus

Stein's cuscus (Phalanger vestitus) is a species of marsupial in the family Phalangeridae. It is found in Indonesia and Papua New Guinea.

Extant Diprotodontia species

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