Bridled Nailtail Wallaby
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Onychogalea fraenata
"bridled nailed-weasel"

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other names
Flashjack, Merrin or Waistcoat Wallaby

DESCRIPTION

Male: Head and body length - 510-700mm. Tail Length - 380-540mm. Weight - 5-8kg. Dusky grey to brown above, pale cream or off-white below. A white "bridle" line running from the centre of the neck down behind the forelimb on each side of the body. Horny pointed "nail" on the tail tip.

Female: Head and body length - 430-540mm. Tail Length - 360-440mm. Weight - 4-5kg. Appearance as per male.

In the mid nineteenth century, the Bridled Nailtail Wallaby ranged from the Murray River in Victoria and New South Wales to the Charters Towers area in Queensland and was common over its range. Today, the Bridled Nailtail is classified as an endangered species and can be found in only a small area near Dingo in Queensland in 11,470 hectare area of the Taunton Scientific Reserve. Within the reserve it is estimated that there are around 1500 individuals. The habitat for Bridled Nailtail Wallaby is semi-arid with a mixture of tall shrubland and grassy woodland. By day it rests in scratched out shallow depressions in shrub edges and from dusk until dawn it grazes in the grassy woodland, however it rarely ventures further than 200 metres from the edge of the scrub. The diet consists of mixed forbs, grasses and browse. Home ranges overlap and vary in sizes from 20 to 90 hectares. A males home range tends to be larger than a females. The wallaby is primarily solitary, but do tend to graze together in areas of good pick. Breeding occurs throughout the year, although pouch young and young-at-foot are seen more frequently during late spring and early summer, when conditions are more favourable. Females in oestrus are usually accompanied by a single male, however groups of four to five animals are sometimes seen together during the breeding season. Recent decline of the Bridled Nailtail Wallaby appears to be associated with increased pastoral activity. Competition for food and water with stock and disturbance to ground cover are likely causes.


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