- Females can get pregnant again while they are in the final stages of pregnancy
- Are generally solitary, but may meet up while feeding.
- Known to have a “swampy” odour that gives them the nickname of “stinker” in some areas!
- Many have a light yellow cheek stripe.
Animals — Mammals — Diprotodontia (Koala & relatives) — Macropodidae (Kangaroo family)
Swamp wallabies are smaller relatives of kangaroos. They are around 1.4m long and weigh around 15kg. They get their scientific name “bicolor” (“two colour”) as their colour usually varies from pale yellow/orange on the stomach up to grey on the sides and dark brown to black on the back. Their extremities are also often dark but their tails are sometimes tipped with white.
They are relatively social animals, exploring by themselves but gathering to feed, and can breed any time of year. In fact, females have a very interesting quirk related to pregnancy. Their oestrus cycle is shorter than their pregnancy, which is unique in marsupials. Pregnancy does not stop oestrus in marsupials, so this means the swamp wallaby can actually get pregnant while already pregnant with a late-stage embryo. Once the older young is born, the embryo will be paused until its older sibling leaves the pouch.
They are classified as “least concern” as they have high numbers and a large range. Their numbers have reduced due mostly to habitat destruction, and partially from persecution by farmers.
Habitat: Forest and woodlands.
–Average weight: 1.5kg
–Average length: 1.4m
In the wild up to: 12 years
In captivity up to: 16 years
Diet: They are herbivores and so eat plants. They eat a large variety of plants.
Distribution: Eastern Australia.