Pademelons are quite small wallabies with short tails. The compact body of this animal allows it to move through the dense rainforest understorey with incredible agility. The unique taxonomic position of these animals suggests that they probably have been the ancestors of Tree-kangaroos and Rock-wallabies a few million years ago. The Red-legged pademelon is a motley wallaby, exhibiting grey upper body, whitish underbelly as well as rufous red legs and face with a white colored band on the cheeks.
Red-legged pademelons are endemic to Australia and New Guinea (Indonesia and Papua New Guinea). In New Guinea, these animals are found throughout the southern Fly River area, where they inhabit lowland rainforests and low mixed savanna thickets near swamps. The Australian population of this species occupies the area between the tip of Cape York to the southern portion of Tamworth. Red-legged pademelons also occur in rainforests, wet sclerophyll forests, and dry vine scrub forests on the eastern coast of Australia. Southern populations of pademelon live almost exclusively at the forest edge, while northern populations may also occur in inner parts of the forest.
Red-legged pademelons are active during the daytime hours, while period of least activity is midnight as well as midday to early afternoon. They are generally solitary and tend to feed alone, but are known to form loose groups. During the night, they feed in these groups on the edge of the forest. They also socialize during the winter when sunbathing, gathering together in order to conserve heat. They usually use recesses in the ground as resting and sleeping spots. Feeding groups have a dominant pademelon, which controls the feeding process and makes sure that individuals feed at an equal distance from each other (typically 30-50 meters). When a feeding group is threatened, they flee to their shelters through special paths, which they make beforehand in order to easily escape predators.
Red-legged pademelons are polygynous animals. Males fight to defend their mating rights. During these confrontations, rivals stand upright on their hind legs and hold their heads back in order to protect their eyes. Each one tries to swing its claws at the opponent and knock it down, after which the winner will kick its rival in the abdomen. Red-legged pademelons breed year-round. After a gestation period of 28 to 30 days, a single joey is born. At 22 - 26 weeks old, young begin to come out of the pouch, leaving it permanently by 26–28 weeks. Meanwhile, they still feed upon maternal milk. The mother continues to protect her offspring, teaching them foraging skills and. Then, about 66 days after they leave the pouch, young pademelons start eating food. Sexual maturity is reached at 48 weeks old in females and by 66 weeks old - in males.
Presently, there are no notable threats to the population of this species. However, pademelons in New Guinea are hunted for their meat, while the Australian population of these animals may suffer from dog attacks and fragmentation of their forest habitat.
According to IUCN, the Ref-legged pademelon is locally common and widespread throughout its range but no overall population estimate is available. Currently, this species is classified as Least Concern (LC), although its numbers are decreasing.