Endangered Wallabies Relocated in Australian Outback

Some 20 endangered bridled nailtail wallabies were flown from Queensland to New South Wales in what conservationists described as a “delicate mission” to help bolster one of the “few remaining populations in Australia.”

The Australian Wildlife Conservancy (AWC) said the wallabies, once believed to be extinct, were relocated to the Scotia Wildlife Sanctuary in New South Wales “to improve the genetic diversity of the sanctuary’s reintroduced population.”

According to AWC, 12 males and eight females were lured into baited traps before getting a health check and being flown three and a half-hours south on a specially-chartered flight.

They were released into a predator-free area and fitted with tracking collars to monitor their progress over the next year. Credit: Australian Wildlife Conservancy via Storyful

Video transcript

So my name is Rachel, and I'm a wildlife Ecologist with the Australian Wildlife Conservancy.

And I work across the Scotia Sanctuary and Melly Cliffs National Park Project areas.

So tonight we're at Scotia Sanctuary and we are, um, doing a translocation of rattled Ngata Wallabies to supplement the existing population here, the, um, rattle Ngata Wallabies have come down from Tonto National Park in Queensland, Uh, which is the last remnant population of this species.

And to get down here to Scotia in New South Wales, they have been, um we have spent a couple of nights trapping them up at the National Park along with our colleagues at, um Queensland Parks and with the assistance of a veterinary team from Village Roadshow theme parks to help us, uh, trap and select animals for suitable for translocation.

And, um yeah, they've flown down to New South Wales by charter flight and been driven on to sanctuary.

So we're releasing these Wallabies into the, uh, feral predator free fenced area we have on site.

It's a area of 8000 hectares that we've completely eradicated feral predators from the translocation of Baron nta.

Wallabies to Scotia is a supplementation of the existing population here.

The existing population was founded by a relatively low number of individuals, uh, resulting in low genetic diversity.

The supplementation from a much higher from a population of much higher genetic diversity will help improve the health of the Scotia population.

So the bride of Nte Wallaby is particularly vulnerable to feral foxes and cats.

Um, they are key contributors to their decline.

So releasing them into this, um safe haven away from cats and foxes gives them a safe place to, um breed and exist.

So each Wallaby has been, um, fitted with a BHF radio collar, which allows us to track their survival and their dispersal over the coming months.

The bridled now to a wallaby is a medium size wallaby, with females reaching up to six kilogrammes and males up to eight kilogrammes, which puts them in that critical weight range that makes them particularly susceptible to predation by foxes and cats.

The Wallabies have soft grey fur and a white bridled pattern reaching from behind their neck, um, down around behind their forearms and at the end of their tail, they have a nail like spur, which is where they get their name Bridle.

Now Wallaby was historically distributed in inland eastern Australia from northern Queensland down to northwestern Victoria.

Their current distribution, uh, consists of one remnant population at Taunton National Park, whereas which is where we've sourced.

These Wallabies from Australian Wildlife Conservancy manages the three reinsure populations of bridled N Wallabies in New South Wales inside feral predator free fenced areas.

By having these three reintroduced populations, we're securing multiple locations with this species, um to prevent against a disaster like a wildfire taking out, um, a single population and also increasing the overall global population size for the species.