Black wallaby, Black-tailed wallaby, Fern wallaby, Black pademelon, Stinker (in Queensland), Black stinker
The swamp wallaby (Wallabia bicolor ) is a small macropod marsupial of eastern Australia. This wallaby is also commonly known as the black wallaby, with other names including black-tailed wallaby, fern wallaby, black pademelon, stinker (in Queensland), and black stinker (in New South Wales) on account of its characteristic swampy odour.Show More
The swamp wallaby is the only living member of the genus Wallabia.Show Less
The only living species of the Wallabia genus, this small marsupial is covered with dark brown fur, exhibiting lighter rusty markings on the belly, chest and base of the ears. The Swamp wallaby is endemic to the eastern regions of Australia. This animal has occasionally been taken for a panther due to the dark coloration of its fur and a long black tail, which strike the eye unlike the hindquarters of this animal, which are often difficult to see in the dense cover of the Australian bush.
These animals are distributed throughout the eastern coast of Australia, including southeastern South Australia, Victoria, eastern Queensland and eastern New South Wales. The Swamp wallabies can live in various habitats. However, they usually prefer dense forests, woodlands and swampy areas. They generally avoid open environments, unless there are nearby areas with thick brush growth.
Swamp wallabies are solitary animals. They do not appear to be territorial. These wallabies have been seen feeding together with other unrelated species without showing any territorial behavior. Home range of a Swamp wallaby is typically 16 ha, often overlapping with these of conspecifics. Swamp wallabies usually spend their daytime hours resting in under-storey and sheltered areas with dense vegetation. At dusk, these nocturnal animals come out to graze in open grasslands. In order to move fast, they take long leaps while holding their tails horizontal and their heads low. Meanwhile, they seem to be poorly coordinated when moving slowly.
Swamp wallabies are polygynous. Males of this species tend to look for receptive females and mate with them in foraging areas instead of finding them in sheltered areas during the daytime hours. Male wallabies fiercely compete with each other for their mating rights. These confrontations end with short kicking attacks, defining the winning male, which is usually the larger individual. Swamp wallabies mate throughout the year rather than having a specific mating season. Gestation period lasts for 33 - 38 days, yielding a single baby, which remains in the pouch of its mother for around 36 weeks after birth. Young wallabies feed upon maternal milk for up to 15 months, reaching maturity within 15 - 18 months.
Swamp wallaby has suffered from destruction of its natural habitat, which has had a negative impact on the overall population of this animal. In addition, due to destroying crops, Swamp wallaby has also been killed by farmers as a pest.
According to IUCN, the Swamp wallaby is common and widespread throughout its range but no overall population estimate is available. Currently, this species is classified as Least Concern (LC), and its numbers are increasing.