Wallaby gate design

and monitoring project

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Black Gloved Wallaby (Macropus irma)

Note black fore paws, black tail and black tips on ears

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OHCG Environmental Project Officer Mark Waud with the first wallaby gate designed and installed in kangaroo proof fence to allow movement of wallabies.

Val & Tim Saggers property bordering Stirling Range National Park, Dec 2012

 

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Wallaby utilising wallaby gate

 

 

 

 

 

A number of the original mammal species have been lost from the Porongurup-Stirling Ranges Link area. Both fragmentation of habitats and introduced predator pressures are likely to be responsible for the decline of the black-gloved wallaby (Macropus irma).

Local knowledge tells us that wallabies used to occur in large numbers in the area to the north of the Porongurup – but it is believed that hunting pressures up to a few decades ago has diminished the species in this area.

In addition stories of large numbers of dingoes prior to the 1960s (where 200 din-goes were reported to be trapped per year in this period along the Gaalgegup creekline north of the Porongurup), indicate the predator pressures that this species has been under in the past.

These days, threats to these wallabies include stray dogs that wander about in this area in small packs of 2-3 individuals. As a result wallabies are current-ly only known from the central and northern part of the Ranges Link.

It has been noted that they intermingle with kangaroos and do not venture into paddocks much (will forage up to about 200m from bush) and are dependent on having a healthy understorey cover of native vegetation. This is thought to provide protection from predators.

Little is known about the density of wallabies and how far this species travels throughout the Ranges Link area.

As a target species in the Ranges Link Conservation Action Plan, we are compiling information on where wallaby populations currently exist. By linking key vegetation remnants we will assist these populations to exchange genetics, greatly improving their chances of survival.

Our Conservation Action Plan highlighted this species as a target as their habitat requirements are such that if we restore an area to a level suitable for use by wallabies, it is likely that it will be suitable for a wide range of fauna species.