Petrogale lateralis 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Diprotodontia Macropodidae

Scientific Name: Petrogale lateralis Gould, 1842
Common Name(s):
English Black-footed Rock Wallaby, Black-flanked Wallaby, Warru
Taxonomic Notes:

The formerly widespread P. lateralis shows local and considerable regional genetic variation. Taxonomy follows Eldridge et al. (1991), which was based on chromosome morphology and allozyme banding. They identified three subspecies and two ‘races’, here considered as subspecies. The subspecies and races have been widely accepted but have not been subjected to modern DNA analyses.

Petrogale lateralis lateralis is Endangered;

Petrogale lateralis hacketti is Vulnerable;

Petrogale lateralis pearsoni is Near Threatened;

Petrogale lateralis ‘MacDonnell Ranges subspecies’ is Vulnerable;

Petrogale lateralis ‘West Kimberley subspecies’ is Endangered.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable B2ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v); C2a(i) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2014-03-17
Assessor(s): Burbidge, A.A. & Woinarski, J.
Reviewer(s): Johnson, C.N.
Contributor(s): Comer, S., Copley, P., Eldridge, M., Halkyard, B., Howard, K., Kinnear, J., Legge, S., McGilvray, A., Pearson, D., Vernes, T., Ward, M., Ward, S. & Watson, A.

The population size of the Black-footed Rock-wallaby is not well known, but is probably fewer than 10,000 mature individuals; the largest subpopulation is <1,000 mature individuals, it is severely fragmented and there is a continuing decline in some subpopulations. It has an estimated area of occupancy of just over 1,000 km2. This wallaby therefore qualifies for listing as Vulnerable.

Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:The Black-footed Rock-wallaby was formerly widely distributed where suitable rocky habitat occurred though most of Western Australia (from the southern edge of the Kimberley, parts of the Pilbara, the western deserts, to the south-west and islands off the north-west and south coasts), the central ranges in southern Northern Territory, far eastern Western Australia and northern and central South Australia, and some islands off South Australia (Pearson 1992; Copley and Alexander 1997; Lundie-Jenkins and Findlay 1997; Pearson and Kinnear 1997; Gibson 2000; Woinarski et al. 2007; Eldridge and Pearson 2008).

It has greatly declined in the western deserts (Burbidge et al. 1988; Pearson 1992, 2012), parts of the central ranges and the south-west of Western Australia, remaining as a series of isolated subpopulations in the West Kimberley, some of the Pilbara including Barrow Island, the south-west of Western Australia, Westall, Mondrain, Wilson and Salisbury Islands in the Archipelago of the Recherche (Western Australia), Pearson Island (South Australia) and the Central Ranges of the Northern Territory, Western Australia and South Australia. The species is extinct on Depuch Island (Pilbara). It has been introduced to south Pearson Island (2.0 km2, 1960), Thistle Island (39 km2, 1974) and Wedge Island (9.5 km2, 1975), all in South Australia.

In Western Australia, it has been reintroduced to Querekin Rock (1990, 2009, 2010), Paruna Sanctuary (2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2010), Avon Valley National Park (2001, 2002, 2003, 2008, 2009, 2010), Walyunga National Park (2002, 2004) and Cape Le Grande National Park (2003, 2004) (Mawson 2004; Davies et al. 2007; Pearson 2012).
Countries occurrence:
Australia (Northern Territory, South Australia, Western Australia)
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:1060Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Yes
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):NoEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:2653300
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):YesExtreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO):No
Number of Locations:15Continuing decline in number of locations:Yes
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations:No
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Kinnear et al. (2010) provided estimates for subpopulations in the Western Australian wheatbelt. Pearson (2012) provided figures for some subspecies and subpopulations, but most are not based on robust sampling. In this account, population sizes are estimated for individual subspecies as P. l. lateralis (1,500 individuals, with largest subpopulation of 500 individuals), P. l. hacketti (1100 individuals, with largest subpopulation of 500 individuals), P. l. pearsoni (1,100 individuals), P. l. MacDonnell Ranges race (6000 individuals, largest subpopulation <1000) and P. l. West Kimberley subspecies (<2500 individuals). The population size is therefore c. 10,000 - 12,000 individuals with <10,000 mature individuals.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:8000Continuing decline of mature individuals:Yes
Extreme fluctuations:NoPopulation severely fragmented:Yes
No. of subpopulations:10-20
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations:NoAll individuals in one subpopulation:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:

Black-footed Rock-wallabies occur in rugged rocky areas where the nature of rock weathering and fragmentation has led to suitable shelter. They require daytime shelter in deep shade in caves, cliffs, screes and rockpiles. They emerge at dusk to feed on grasses, forbs, shrubs and occasionally seeds and fruits. Feeding occurs as near shelter as possible, especially where exotic predators are present; however, if food is unavailable near shelter they will move up to several hundred metres to obtain it (Eldridge and Pearson 2008).

Breeding can occur throughout the year, but with a spring peak in southern subpopulations. Research in south-western Western Australia showed that breeding commences at 18 months and that some individuals may live longer than 12 years (Kinnear et al. 1988); however, most live for less. Generation time is assumed here to be five years.

Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes
Generation Length (years):5
Movement patterns:Not a Migrant

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The various subspecies of Black-footed Rock Wallaby face different threats. The main threat overall to this species on the mainland is predation from introduced Red Foxes, and foxes are known to have played a major role in the decline of the species historically. Predation by feral cats is also occurring. Predation by wild dogs including Dingoes has some impact, especially near human settlements and on islands. Competition with domestic and introduced herbivores (primarily sheep and rabbits) is a major threat as well as loss of habitat due to changes in the fire regime and introduced grasses and other weeds.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: All subspecies of Black-footed Rock Wallaby are listed as threatened under Australian law. The species occurs in a number of protected areas. The subspecies are managed separately. Regular monitoring of populations should be conducted in a coordinated fashion. Predator control measures (primarily fox baiting) need to be maintained and expanded within key areas for the species, as well as monitoring of fox populations. Fire management and habitat restoration should be implemented where feasible.

Western Australian wheatbelt and south coast subpopulations are managed by the Western Australian Department of Environment and Conservation via fox control and monitoring. Fox control is also conducted at Cape Range, Kaalpi and north-west South Australia. It was undertaken in the Townsend Ridges until recently. Barrow Island has a high-quality quarantine management system. A series of specific management actions are being implemented for the MacDonnell Ranges subspecies of Black-footed Rock-wallaby, particularly in South Australia. Read and Ward (2011) note a series of achievements, including verification of additional colonies within known metapopulations, a large, increasing and significant role of Indigenous people in management, implementation of predator baiting, implementation of regular monitoring, establishment of captive breeding colonies, and a range of ecological research. A reintroduction program at one site returned six founders and five captive-bred animals to predator-proof exclosure in 2011 (Muhic et al. 2012), and this re-introduced colony is subject to a continuing program of monitoring of health, population dynamics and predator incursions and abundance, and of fire management. Islands on which the Recherche Rock-wallaby occurs are part of the Class A Archipelago of the Recherche Nature Reserve. The Pearson Isles are a Conservation Park, managed by the South Australian Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources.

Citation: Burbidge, A.A. & Woinarski, J. 2016. Petrogale lateralis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T16751A21955343. . Downloaded on 21 September 2018.
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