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


Wallaby (Dama) Macropus eugenii

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Infraclass: Marsupialia
Order: Diprotodontia
Family: Macropodidae
Genus: Macropus
Species: M. eugenii
Binomial name: Macropus eugenii
Common name: Dama wallaby, Tammar wallaby, Silver-grey wallaby, Kangaroo Island wallaby, Darma wallaby

Macropus eugenii is a wallaby species that is native to south-western Western Australia and southern South Australia. Macropus eugenii were first introduced to New Zealand around 1870 by Sir George Grey when they were released onto Kawau Island. Macropus eugenii sourced from Kawau Island were subsequently liberated near Lake Ōkāreka in 1912. They have spread west to Rotorua, east to Kawerau and south to about Rainbow Mountain, south Paeroa Range to Waikato River and south-west of Mount Ngongotaha to southern Mamaku Range.They are established in both exotic and native forest or scrub areas. They inhabit forest margins, or ‘edge’, habitats where they can find cover during the day and graze at night. They feed on grasses, Coprosma grandifolia (Kanona), Coprosma robusta (Karamu), Fuchsia excorticate (Tree Fuchsia), Geniostoma ligustrifolium (Hangehange), Pseudopanax arboreus, Schefflera digitata Leptospermum scoparium (Manuka), Kunzea ericoides (Kanuka), Weinmannia racemosa (Kamahi), Melicytus ramiflorus (Mahoe), Hedycarya arborea (Pigeonwood), Ripogonum scandens (Supplejack vine), Brachyglottis repanda (Rangiora) and Griselinia littoralis (Broadleaf). They alter the vegetation composition and regeneration of these species. On farmland, three wallabies eat the equivalent of one sheep. Macropus eugenii is now defined as an Unwanted Organism under the Biosecurity Act 1993.

Macropus eugenii is the smallest wallaby species standing up to half a metre tall, about the size of a big rabbit. An adult can weigh up to 7 kilograms. They are grey-brown in colour with a paler grey underbelly. A thin white-silver stripe runs from under the eye to the nose. Mature animals may have a patch of reddish brown colouring at the shoulder. 
This species form small groups. The females are sexually mature when 12 months old. They have a gestation period: 28 days. Most births are during January/February with the young staying in the pouch for 250 days.
Macropus eugenii has several notable adaptations, including the ability to retain energy while hopping, colour vision and the ability to drink seawater. It is a nocturnal species, it spends night time in grassland habitat and daytime in shrubland.

The graphic below is the best, intermediate- and worst-case predicted distributions in 50 years for the Dama wallaby in the North Island. Habitat suitability index (HSI) for this wallaby 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 Dama wallaby
 

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