Cameras capture best ever tally of Rock wallabies
28 November, 2011
Remote cameras at the Little River site in the Snowy River Gorge in East Gippsland have captured exciting images of Brush-tailed Rock wallabies.
Not only have new, healthy pouch young been recorded, but some of the animals tagged this year were caught on camera, confirming the survival and increasing numbers of this critically endangered species.
DSE Biodiversity Office and Brush-tailed Rock- wallaby Recovery Team member, Lucy Clausen, said the good news just kept coming when the camera cards were downloaded.
“We were initially disappointed when we looked at the results from the first camera, which had no photos, but that was compensated when we saw the images from the second camera, located further east towards the Little River trapping site,” she said.
“This camera has recorded the best ever individual Brush-tailed Rock-wallaby tally, with a total of four adults and one juvenile.
“It’s also the crucial link in determining how far west (or upstream) the Little River site rock-wallabies are venturing.”
Ms Clausen said that the wallabies named ‘Wakefield’ and ‘Una’ were recorded at this camera as well the recently tagged ‘Aarron’ and ‘Jarman’.
“Aarron has not been caught on camera since he was trapped and tagged in June and weighed just over three kilograms, so it’s interesting to see he is still hanging around the area and hasn't dispersed further afield.
“It was an extra bonus to find ‘Una’ at this spot as she is normally further downstream. We were also able to confirm the existence of her female joey that looks to be permanently out of the pouch. This joey was also recorded at jellybean-size back in May.”
The team is also delighted to report that the pouch young are emerging and exploring the forest environment around them.
“Some of the photos from Little River showed ‘Laura’ and her male pouch young – he was still using her pouch, but venturing further afield to try some of the lucerne hay we put out to lure them closer to cameras.”
These recent results show that the Rock wallaby population in far East Gippsland is surviving and thriving, which is exciting and rewarding news for the teams involved.
The ongoing Brush-tailed Rock-wallaby Recovery Program involves running biannual trapping sessions in autumn and spring each year.
Monitoring of the wild population is one part of the program, which has also involved a captive breeding program that has helped reintroduce the species to the Grampians and increase the numbers in East Gippsland.
The Victorian Government has a responsibility under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee (FFG) Act to protect threatened species. These animals and plants form an important part of their ecosystems and, by increasing our knowledge of them, we reduce the risk of losing them forever.