Overview

Distribution

Range Description

This species occurs in the lowlands of southern and extreme south-eastern New Guinea (Indonesia and Papua New Guinea); on Goodenough (Vivigani Plains), Fergusson, and Kiriwina islands (Papua New Guinea); and throughout much of northern Australia (isolated populations occur on North and South Stradbroke Island, Peel, and Groote Islands). The species was introduced to Vanderlin Island. It may also be present on the islands of Normanby and New Ireland, Papua New Guinea (Flannery 1995).
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Geographic Range

The agile wallaby's range includes the coastal and tropical areas of Australia (Environment Australia, 2001), including northeast Western Australia, the northern portion of the Northern Territory, and the north and east areas of Queensland (Nowak, 1991). Also, there are limited populations in southern New Guinea (Columbus Zoo web site, 2001).

Biogeographic Regions: australian (Native )

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Physical Description

Morphology

Physical Description

Agile wallabies are yellowish-brown and have a white cheek stripe. Also, there is usually a fairly distinct white stripe near the hip. Average head and body length ranges between 600 and 1,050 mm; average mass for males is 20 kg. and 12 kg for females. (Nowak, 1991)

Average mass: 16 kg.

Range length: 600 to 1050 mm.

Other Physical Features: endothermic ; bilateral symmetry

Average mass: 16000 g.

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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
Within Indonesia and Papua New Guinea it occurs in lowland savanna grasslands. In Australia, it is generally found along rivers and streams in open woodland and grassland habitats, but can also occur in areas of coastal sand dunes and inland hilly regions (Merchant 2008). It shelters in dense vegetation. It is gregarious and generally lives in groups of up to ten animals, which may form larger aggregations with other groups (Merchant 2008). In Australia, breeding can take place throughout the year with a single young being born (Merchant 2008).

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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Agile wallablies occur in a wide variety of habitats often depending on local environmental conditions. These habitats include open forests and their adjacent grasslands, regions near rivers and streams, and also floodplains (Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, 2001).

Habitat Regions: tropical

Terrestrial Biomes: desert or dune ; forest ; rainforest ; scrub forest

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Trophic Strategy

Food Habits

Agile wallabies are extremely flexible and opportunistic feeders. Their eating habits change depending on environmental conditions. During wet season, the wallabies eat a variety of native grasses, shrubs and bushes. Also, they may feed on some varieties of leaves and fruits (Stirrat, 2001). These wallabies have adapted well to extended periods of time without water. During these dry times, their feeding range usually extends and includes digging into soil for moisture-rich roots (Nowak, 1991).

Primary Diet: herbivore (Folivore , Frugivore , Granivore )

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Associations

Ecosystem Roles

Ecosystem Impact: disperses seeds

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Life History and Behavior

Life Cycle

Development

Directly after birth, the young wallaby travels to the mother's pouch. The "joey" stays within the pouch for an average of seven to eight months (Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, 2001). The joey does not usually emerge permanently and reach total independance for several more weeks. Weaning occurs until the young wallaby is one year old. (Nowak, 1991)

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Life Expectancy

Lifespan/Longevity

Expected lifespan in wild ranges between 11-14 years (Nowak, 1991).

Typical lifespan

Status: wild:
11 to 14 years.

Average lifespan

Status: wild:
11-14 years.

Average lifespan

Status: captivity:
10.2 years.

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Lifespan, longevity, and ageing

Maximum longevity: 16.9 years (captivity) Observations: In the wild these animals are expected to live up to 14 years (Ronald Nowak 1999). One specimen lived 16.9 years in captivity (Richard Weigl 2005).
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Reproduction

Births may occur at any time of the year, but usually peak between May and August. A single young is born per breeding season. (ThinkQuest Library, 2001) The adult sex ratio of populations is often female biased, due to higher male youth mortality rates (Stirrat, 2000).

Average number of offspring: 1.

Average gestation period: 30 days.

Average weaning age: 10-12 months.

Range age at sexual or reproductive maturity (female): 12 to 14 months.

Range age at sexual or reproductive maturity (male): 12 to 14 months.

Key Reproductive Features: seasonal breeding ; gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate); delayed implantation

Average birth mass: 0.634 g.

Average gestation period: 29 days.

Average number of offspring: 1.

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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2008

Assessor/s
Aplin, K., Dickman, C., Salas, L., Woinarski, J. & 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, large population, occurrence in a number of protected areas, lack of major threats, and because it is unlikely to be declining at nearly the rate required to qualify for listing in a threatened category.
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In many areas, agile wallabies occur in large numbers and may even reach pest-like population levels. However, human habitat modification, extended periods of drought and over-hunting can combine for dramatic local population drops (Nowak, 1991).

US Migratory Bird Act: no special status

US Federal List: no special status

CITES: no special status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: least concern

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Population

Population
In New Guinea, it is uncommon in the south-eastern portion of its range, but it is abundant in suitable habitat in the southern, largely uninhabited, part of its range. It is a common species in northern Australia and is widespread (Merchant 2008).

Population Trend
Decreasing
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Threats

Major Threats
There are no major threats to this species. Within New Guinea, the species is locally threatened by overhunting for meat in the south-eastern part of its range. It is considered to be a pest species over some of its Australian range, where it is largely controlled by shooting and, in the past, directed poisoning campaigns (however, whereas people were actually hired in the past to shoot them in some regions, such as Western Australia, such actions no longer appear required as they are not so abundant). There is an illicit commercial trade in the species in parts of northern Australia.
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
It is not known from any protected areas in Indonesia or Papua New Guinea, but it is known to be present in a number of protected areas in northern Australia.
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Economic Importance for Humans: Negative

In some regions, agile wallabies occur in numbers large enough to negatively influence both natural and agricultural areas. Their extended feeding groups can create large amounts of soil erosion in wild areas, and they are often considered by farmers as pests due to their crop destruction (Environment Australia, 2001).

Negative Impacts: crop pest

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Economic Importance for Humans: Positive

In modern times, this species does not have any significant positive economic benefits. Previously, their meat was sometimes consumed and their fur was collected (Environment Australia, 2001).

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Wikipedia

Agile wallaby

Agile Wallaby family

Description[edit]

The Agile wallaby (Macropus agilis) also known as the sandy wallaby, is a species of wallaby found in northern Australia and New Guinea. It is the most common wallaby in Australia's north.[3]

The agile wallaby, as its alternative name implies, is a sandy colour becoming paler below. It is a sociable animal and grazes on grasses and other plants.[3]

There are four subspecies of the agile wallaby:

The agile wallaby is not considered threatened.[2]

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. p. 63. OCLC 62265494. ISBN 0-801-88221-4. 
  2. ^ a b Aplin, K., Dickman, C., Salas, L., Woinarski, J. & Winter, J. (2008). Macropus agilis. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 28 December 2008. Database entry includes justification for why this species is of least concern
  3. ^ a b Menkhorst, Peter (2001). A Field Guide to the Mammals of Australia. Oxford University Press. p. 110. 
  4. ^ Merchant, J.C. (1983). Agile Wallaby in The Complete Book of Australian Mammals (ed. Ronald Strahan). Angus & Robertson. p. 242. 
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