Friday, February 12, 2010

Currumbin Welcomes Marsupial Rock Stars

They’re Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary’s resident rock stars – they’re rare, shy, but cute animals with their own exclusive home that they share with some long-legged birds.

Currumbin’s Brush-tailed Rock-wallabies are part of a NSW Government recovery program to stop the rapid decline of this species which was once found along the Great Dividing Range between Nanango in Queensland to the Grampians in Victoria.

They’re four Brush-tailed Rock-wallabies – a male, two females and one joey – which can now be seen in daily, guided tours to encounter this rare and critically endangered species.

The true rock stars of the marsupial world, the rock wallabies can bound more than two metres, and display incredible agility and speed in negotiating the steep, craggy rock faces where they live.

At Currumbin, the specially created Rock-wallaby enclosure is also home to Brolgas and a Whip-tailed Wallaby. It also replicates their natural environment with rocky outcrops and ledges created from the shells of recycled cars.

However, the rock-wallabies are now extremely rare and elusive in the wild – so elusive, they have been nicknamed the Shadow by researchers trying to track them.

Currumbin is one of only four Australian institutions housing the Central ESU population of Brush-tailed Rock-wallaby as part of the recovery program now giving hope for the survival of the species.

Under the program, successful breeding with the rock-wallabies can result in animals being introduced into the wild to help restock dwindling populations.

But because of this, the rock-wallabies at Currumbin will have minimal direct human contact, allowing them to retain their natural characteristics and behaviour.

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