Petrogale xanthopus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Diprotodontia Macropodidae

Scientific Name: Petrogale xanthopus Gray, 1855
Common Name(s):
English Yellow-footed Rock Wallaby, Ring-tailed Rock Wallaby

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2015-06-15
Assessor(s): Copley, P., Ellis, M. & van Weenen, J.
Reviewer(s): Johnson, C.N. & Hawkins, C.
Listed as Near Threatened because its extent of occurrence is probably not much greater than 20,000 km2 and is highly fragmented, its habitat is declining in much of its range, and its population is likely to be less than 10,000 mature individuals, making the species close to qualifying for Vulnerable under criterion B1b(iii).
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is endemic to Australia, where it has a highly disjunct and patchy distribution in South Australia, New South Wales, and Queensland.
Countries occurrence:
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The population of Yellow-footed Rock Wallabies fluctuates depending on rainfall. There are estimated to be less than 10,000 mature individuals in the wild. A large section of the species' range in South Australia has been surveyed (most years from 1993-2008), indicating that there are on the order of 6,000 individuals currently in South Australia. There are less than 100 individuals in New South Wales, and the size of the population in Queensland is unknown.

The overall population trend of the species is unknown. There has been evidence of a general population decline in the Flinders Ranges and a number of colonies in the Olary Hills and Gawler Ranges have gone extinct (Maxwell et al. 1996). However, populations have dramatically increased in some areas over the last few decades due to fox and goat control measures (including in the Olary Hills, and the Flinders and Gawler Ranges). Successful reintroductions of captive-bred individuals to areas in South Australia and Queensland have recently taken place (Lapidge 2000, 2005).
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species inhabits rocky outcrops and is often associated with permanent or semi-permanent water sources (Eldridge 2008). It is a highly social species that lives in small colonies usually of less than 20 individuals (Copley and Alexander 1997), but sometimes containing more than a hundred (Eldridge 2008). Dispersal between colonies is rare (Pope et al. 1996, Sharp 1997). Recruitment is low in this species due to high juvenile mortality (Eldridge 2008).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Predation from introduced foxes is the greatest threat to Yellow-footed Rock Wallabies (Lapidge and Henshall 2001). Competition with domestic and introduced herbivores (particularly goats, rabbits, and sheep) and wildfire are major threats. Historically, this species declined due to these threats and as a result of hunting for pelts from the 1880s to 1920s and land clearance for agriculture (Maxwell et al. 1996).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species occurs in a number of protected areas. Yellow-footed Rock Wallaby recovery is a major focus of Operation Bounceback in the Olary Hills, and the Flinders and Gawler Ranges (South Australia). These efforts have resulted in major population increases in the Olary Ranges and parts of the Flinders Ranges. Continued fox and goat control is important for this species. For more than a decade there have been reintroductions of captive-bred Yellow-footed Rock Wallabies to sites in Queensland and South Australia (Lapidge 2000, 2005). These reintroductions have been very successful and should continue. Regular monitoring of sites in South Australia should continue as well as monitoring of reintroduced populations.

Citation: Copley, P., Ellis, M. & van Weenen, J. 2016. Petrogale xanthopus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T16750A21955455. . Downloaded on 24 September 2018.
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