The Bennetts wallaby is one of Tasmania’s most commonly seen native animals. The species is also widespread in the southeast of mainland Australia, where it is known as the red-necked wallaby. Visitors to most of our national parks are highly likely to encounter these animals during their stay.
Often referred to as a kangaroo in Tasmania, males can weigh more than 20 kg and stand up to 1.5 m tall. They can be distinguished from the pademelon and Forester kangaroo by their black nose and paws, and white stripe on the upper lip.
Near the Fluted Cape entrance to the South Bruny National Park, a small population of rare, white Bennetts wallabies may be seen feeding in the open paddocks at dusk.
Bennetts wallabies are found throughout the state, including the Bass Strait islands. They are abundant in Tasmania - their numbers and distribution having expanded over the past 30 years. This is due to a reduction in hunting pressure and the clearing of forest to result in a mosaic of pastures where wallabies can feed at night, alongside bushland where they can shelter by day.
Diet and behaviour
Footprints of Bennetts wallaby
The species is largely solitary, allthough loose groups, known as mobs, often share common feeding areas. They feed at afternoon and dusk, generally grazing on grass and herbs.
There is a distinct breeding season, with births occuring late summer to early autumn. This is in contrast to mainland populations of the same species, where births occur year round. The gesatation period is 30 days. Pouch life is about 280 days and weaning occurs at 12-17 months.