T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Wallaby (Bennett's) Macropus rufogriseus rufogriseus

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Infraclass: Marsupialia
Order: Diprotodontia
Family: Macropodidae
Genus: Macropus
Subgenus: Notamacropus
Species: M. rufogriseus
Binomial name: Macropus rufogriseus
Subspecies trinomial name: Macropus rufogriseus rufogriseus
Common name: Bennett's wallaby, Red-necked wallaby

Macropus r. rufogriseus is a medium-sized macropod marsupial (wallaby), a native of the more temperate and fertile parts of eastern Australia, including Tasmania. They were introduced into New Zealand mainly for sport and the value of their skins. Their populations are centred on the Hunter Hills near Waimate in South Canterbury. Since their initial releases, they have increased in numbers and distribution, and they compete with livestock for pasture, browse seedlings in plantation forests, damage indigenous vegetation and fences. In recent years, they have has dispersed south of the Waitaki River, a natural barrier which prevented their spread for many years. South Canterbury farmers are now struggling to control rising wallaby numbers. On one 5000 hectare farm inland from St Andrews south of Timaru recreational hunters were killing 2000 wallabies on the property annually. On farmland, three wallabies eat the equivalent of one sheep.
They are defined as an Unwanted Organism under the Biosecurity Act 1993.

Macropus r. rufogriseus stands 800 mm tall with a head and body length of 65 cm and a tail length of 62 cm. They can reach 20 kg plus in weight. They have a greyish brown upper body with pale grey on the chest and belly. They have a rust colour on their shoulders, and they have black tipped hind feet and tail.
These solitary marsupials become sexually mature in less than two years. The gestation period is about 30 days. The young stay in the pouch for about 274 days. The peak season for birthing is February to March.

Graphic below is the best, intermediate- and worst-case predicted distributions in 50 years for Bennett’s wallaby in the South Island. Habitat suitability index (HSI) for this species is shown as a continuous surface, ranging from poor (0) to good (1) habitat quality. 
© This image by Landcare Research is published under the CC-BY 4.0 international licence. 

A female and her joey 

Thanks to Wikipedia for text and information: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/