Overview

Distribution

Antilopine wallaroos inhabit savanna woodlands throughout the northern, tropical regions of Australia, from the Kimberley to the Gulf of Carpentaria. They are also found in the Cape York Peninsula.

Biogeographic Regions: australian

Other Geographic Terms: island endemic

  • 2007. "The Kangaroo trail" (On-line). Accessed March 04, 2009 at http://www.rootourism.com/fsheet16.htm.
  • Croft, D. 1982. Some observations on the behaviour of the antelopine wallaroo Macropus antilopinus (Marsupialia: Macropodidea). Journal of the Australian Mammal Society Inc., 5: 5-13.
  • Croft, D. 1987. Socio-Ecology of the Antilopine Wallaroo, Macropus-Antilopinus, in the Northern-Territory, With Observations on Sympatric Macropus-Robustus-Woodwardii and Macropus-Agilis. Australian Wildlife Research, 14: 243-255.
  • Davey, K. 2005. "Antilopine Wallaroo" (On-line). Accessed April 09, 303 at http://homepage.mac.com/keithdavey/macropods/antilopine-wallaroo.htm.
  • Hirst, S. 2006. "National Wildlife Rehabilitation Conference 2006" (On-line). The Antilopine Wallaroo: an unusual ‘roo. Accessed March 04, 2009 at http://www.nwrc.com.au/2k6/html/papers.htm.
  • Ritchie, E., J. Martin, A. Krockenberger, S. Garnett, C. Johnson. 2008. Large-herbivore distribution and abundance: intra- and interspecific niche variation in the tropics.. Ecological Monographs, 78.1: 105-122.
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Range Description

This species is endemic to Australia, where it is distributed in the northern monsoonal tropical woodlands (Ritchie 2008). It typically occurs below 500 m asl.
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Physical Description

Morphology

Male and female antilopine wallaroos are very sexually dimorphic. Adult males are usually a reddish tan color. Females, however, are brownish tan in the back and hind parts and usually have gray heads and shoulders. Females also have white tips on the back of their ears. Paws and feet of both sexes are white on the ventral side and are black tipped. Adult males have a distinct swelling of the nose above the nostrils that is possibly used for cooling. Males are also much larger than the females, reaching up to 70 kg. A female of this species ranges from 15 kg to 30 kg. Females develop their pouches after about 20 months. In joeys, the fur coloration is apparent after 6 to 7 months. The shape of a female joey’s head is more petite than the male joey’s.

Range mass: 15 to 70 kg.

Range length: 1.5 to 1.9 m.

Sexual Dimorphism: male larger; sexes colored or patterned differently; male more colorful; ornamentation

Other Physical Features: endothermic ; bilateral symmetry

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Ecology

Habitat

Antilopine wallaroos inhabit the savanna woodlands of Australia. During the day they reside in shaded wooded areas to avoid the hot sun. At dusk they graze in grasslands and at dawn return to wooded areas. During the cooler wet season, antilopine wallaroos may also graze during the day, but they seek shelter from rain in wooded areas. Eastern populations may be found on slopes and tops of small hills. They may also be found in valleys and low-lying depressions on the floodplains of major rivers, especially in moist areas populated with short green grass. Northern populations favor sites with permanent water where fires occur late in the season.

Habitat Regions: tropical ; terrestrial

Terrestrial Biomes: savanna or grassland ; forest

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Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
It is found in open monsoonal woodlands of Eucalyptus, with an understorey of perennial grasses (Ritchie 2008). It is also found in regenerating woodlands and open grassland. This species is gregarious and it may be observed in groups of up to 30 animals.

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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Trophic Strategy

Antilopine wallaroos are herbivorous, and their diet is mainly composed of grass. They seek areas with short grass, like low tussock grass, or where tall grass has been burnt and reduced to shoots.

Plant Foods: leaves

Primary Diet: herbivore (Folivore )

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Associations

Antilopine wallaroos consume a variety of grasses and act as hosts for mites, nematodes, fleas, and ticks.

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There are no known predators of antilopine wallaroos other than humans.

Known Predators:

  • humans homo sapiens

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Life History and Behavior

Behavior

Before fighting, males make an audible hiss as an alarm. This is usually followed by a foot thump. Males also perform a “head tossing” motion before fighting.

Communication Channels: visual ; tactile ; acoustic

Perception Channels: visual ; tactile ; chemical

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Life Expectancy

Little information is available regarding the average lifespan of antilopine wallaroos. The longest lived antilopine wallaroo in the wild was 16 years of age, while the longest lived antilopine wallaroo in captivity was 15.9 years of age.

Range lifespan

Status: wild:
16 (high) years.

Range lifespan

Status: captivity:
15.9 (high) years.

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Lifespan, longevity, and ageing

Maximum longevity: 19.8 years (captivity) Observations: In the wild these animals live over 16 years (Bernhard Grzimek 1990). One specimen lived 19.8 years in captivity (Richard Weigl 2005).
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Reproduction

An increased amount of fighting by male antilopine wallaroos has been observed near the beginning of the breeding season. To attract a mate, a male sniffs the female’s cloacal region, then shows his ventral surface and erect penis.

Male antilopine wallaroos reach sexual maturity at 2 years of age, whereas females reach sexual maturity at 16 months and develop their pouch after 20 months. Females come into estrous within a few days of each other. Although estrous of females does not seem to be related to the age of their young (joeys), estrous always occurs after the permanent emergence of the joey. Gestation lasts about 35 days.

Only one offspring is produced per breeding season. After birth the neonate climbs into the mother's pouch, much like all macropods. After about 20 weeks, the joey begins to emerge from the pouch. At about 6 months the joey completely comes out of the pouch for the first time, and at about 37 weeks the mother does not allow the joey back in the pouch. A joey is gradually weaned, feeding less and less from its mother until about 15 months after birth.

Breeding interval: Antilopine wallaroos breed once yearly with births during the wet season.

Breeding season: Mating of antilopine wallaroos occurs at the beginning of the wet season, usually around December.

Average number of offspring: 1.

Range gestation period: 34.1 to 35.9 days.

Average weaning age: 15 months.

Average time to independence: 15 months.

Range age at sexual or reproductive maturity (female): 16 to 20 months.

Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (female): 16 months.

Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (male): 2 years.

Key Reproductive Features: seasonal breeding ; gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate); sexual ; fertilization ; viviparous

Male antilopine wallaroos lose interest in their mate and young once the neonate reaches its mother's pouch. Once all neonates reach their mother's pouch, the group sexually segregates; large males form small groups while females and young remain together in large groups. Even after weaning, young antilopine wallaroos maintain a close relationship with their mother, resting together and grooming each other.

Parental Investment: female parental care ; pre-hatching/birth (Provisioning: Female, Protecting: Female); pre-weaning/fledging (Provisioning: Female, Protecting: Female); post-independence association with parents

  • 2007. "The Kangaroo trail" (On-line). Accessed March 04, 2009 at http://www.rootourism.com/fsheet16.htm.
  • Croft, D. 1982. Some observations on the behaviour of the antelopine wallaroo Macropus antilopinus (Marsupialia: Macropodidea). Journal of the Australian Mammal Society Inc., 5: 5-13.
  • Croft, D. 1987. Socio-Ecology of the Antilopine Wallaroo, Macropus-Antilopinus, in the Northern-Territory, With Observations on Sympatric Macropus-Robustus-Woodwardii and Macropus-Agilis. Australian Wildlife Research, 14: 243-255.
  • Davey, K. 2005. "Antilopine Wallaroo" (On-line). Accessed April 09, 303 at http://homepage.mac.com/keithdavey/macropods/antilopine-wallaroo.htm.
  • Hirst, S. 2006. "National Wildlife Rehabilitation Conference 2006" (On-line). The Antilopine Wallaroo: an unusual ‘roo. Accessed March 04, 2009 at http://www.nwrc.com.au/2k6/html/papers.htm.
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Conservation

Conservation Status

Although populations of antilopine wallarooos are decreasing, the species is classified of least concern by the IUCN. This species has likely benefited from human conversion of land to agricultural and grassland areas.

US Federal List: no special status

CITES: no special status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: least concern

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IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2008

Assessor/s
Woinarski, J., Ritchie, E. & Winter, J.

Reviewer/s
Lamoreux, J. & Hilton-Taylor, C. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)

Contributor/s

Justification
Listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, presumed large population, occurrence in a number of protected areas, and because it is unlikely to be declining at the rate required to qualify for listing in a threatened category. It is necessary, however, to closely monitor the populations of this species.

History
  • 1996
    Lower Risk/least concern
    (Baillie and Groombridge 1996)
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Population

Population
This species sparsely, and patchily distributed. There is concern that this species is undergoing a gradual, minor decline in numbers; localized declines have occurred (E. Ritchie pers. comm.).

Population Trend
Decreasing
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Threats

Major Threats
There are no known major threats to this species. It is probably threatened to some extent by increased pastoral activities and development on available land. Inappropriate fire regimes and traditional hunting are also possible threats.
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
This species is present in a number of protected areas. A monitoring program for it is required. About 50 sites across Australia have been surveyed, recording distribution and abundance, habitat preferences, social organisation, diet, and the genetics between populations (E. Ritchie pers. comm.).
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Because both species graze in grasslands, Antilopine wallaroos may compete with cattle.

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Antilopine wallaroos are hunted by the Aboriginal people of Australia.

Positive Impacts: food

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Wikipedia

Antilopine kangaroo

The antilopine kangaroo (Macropus antilopinus), sometimes called the antilopine wallaroo or the antilopine wallaby, is a species of macropod found in northern Australia: in Cape York Peninsula in Queensland, the Top End of the Northern Territory, and the Kimberley region of Western Australia. It is a locally common, gregarious grazer.[3]

The name antilopine means antelope-like. The antilopine kangaroo is sometimes referred to as the 'Antilopine wallaroo', but in behavior and habitat is more similar to the Red and Grey kangaroos.

The antilopine kangaroo is one of a few macropods to display sexual dimorphism, with the male being mostly a reddish color above, and females being considerably greyer. It is one of the largest macropods, being only slightly smaller than the red kangaroo (Macropus rufus) and the eastern grey kangaroo (Macropus giganteus).[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Groves, C. P. (2005). Wilson, D. E.; Reeder, D. M, eds. Mammal Species of the World (3rd ed.). Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 63–64. OCLC 62265494. ISBN 0-801-88221-4. 
  2. ^ Woinarski, J., Ritchie, E. & Winter, J. (2008). Macropus antilopinus. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 30 December 2008.
  3. ^ a b Menkhorst, Peter (2001). A Field Guide to the Mammals of Australia. Oxford University Press. p. 110. 
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