Whiptail Wallaby (Macropus parryi)


Class: Mammalia
Order: Diprotodontia
Family:    Macropodidae
Size:    Height: 2.5 to 3 feet (76 to 91 cm)
Weight: 15 to 58 pounds (7 to 26 kg)
Diet: Grass and plants
Distribution: Australia
Young:  1 to 2 joeys a year
Animal Predators:  Dingoes
IUCN Status: No special status
Terms: Young: Joey  Group: Mob
Lifespan: Up to 18 years



·       Wallabies are marsupials, which literally means “pouched animals.”

·       They thump their tails on the ground to warn other wallabies of approaching danger.

·       The whiptail wallaby is also known as Parry’s wallaby or pretty-faced wallaby. 

·       The first whiptail was identified by Sir Edward Parry in 1834, who kept the wallaby in his home, where it was treated as a household pet.



Wallabies are members of the kangaroo family, but have brighter colours than their larger relatives, as well as shorter hind legs and a more delicate face. Whiptail wallabies have brownish-grey fur, a reddish-brown head and a white stripe along their cheeks. Their hands, feet, nose and eyes are black. Males are up to twice the weight of females. Like kangaroos, they use their thick, muscular tail to prop themselves up while sitting. Unlike kangaroos, wallabies also sit right on the ground, with their tail tucked underneath. They have soft, thick fur, and in warm weather, they lick their hands and forearms to cool down. 



Whiptails are found within national parks and nature reserves, in wooded areas in the Australian states of northern New South Wales and southeastern Queensland. 


Feeding Habits

During hot weather, whiptail wallabies feed in the early morning and late afternoon, resting in the shade during the hot midday. In cooler temperatures, they can be seen feeding on various grasses and plants throughout the day. 



Whiptail wallabies give birth in January after a five-week pregnancy. After birth, the tiny joey (less than .03 ounces/1 gram) crawls into its mother’s pouch and suckles one of her four teats. The joey stays there until it reaches eight or nine months of age, but continues to nurse until it is about 15 months old. The joey reaches maturity at about two years of age and will begin to separate itself from its mother’s side at that time.



Wallabies use their powerful hind legs to hop forward, but use their forelegs as well to move around while grazing. They are known as “grey fliers” because of their speed when hopping. Whiptail wallabies are sociable creatures that can often be found grazing in large groups of 50 to 80 individuals.



Like all wallabies and kangaroos, whiptails are protected by Australian law, although they are commercially harvested in Australia. They are not a conservation concern at this time. 










Whiptail Wallaby Wildlife Fact File, IM Pub, US