Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2012

Bridled Nailtail Wallaby

The only wallaby in your consciousness may very well be the one from the short-lived Nickelodeon cartoon named Rocko, but the hunched, hopping mammals that look like mini-kangaroos actually count more than thirty varietals among them. One of the most endangered in their ranks if the Bridled Nailtail Wallaby. As one of three types of nailtail wallabies — only two of which still exist — the Bridled Nailtail Wallaby is known for its white bridle line reigning around its head and shoulders and its spurred tail. The critter, which once inhabited much of the eastern half of Australia, was pushed out of its habitat by foxes and further diminished by natives who targeted the animal for its valuable pelt. After the last confirmed sighting in 1937 the Bridled Nailtail Wallaby was declared extinct. But that was not the last of them. In 1973, the wallaby was rediscovered by a contractor in Queensland, Australia. But despite their reappearance the Bridled Nailtail Wallaby has not yet largely repopulated and the Wildlife Preservation Society of Queensland predicts there are fewer than 1,000 remaining in the province.