Local community names endangered wallaby joeys

The Kangaroo Valley colony of brush-tailed rock-wallaby is one of a few remaining isolated local populations at the southern end of the species’ range in NSW.

The newly-named joey ‘Tenzing’, poking out of their mum’s pouch.
The brush-tailed rock-wallaby (BTRW) is an endangered macropod, characterised by their long, bushy tail. Initially hunted for their thick fur in the early-mid 1900s, the species has since been impacted by introduced feral predators and habitat fragmentation.
The Kangaroo Valley colony of BTRW is one of a few remaining isolated local populations at the southern end of the species’ range in NSW. This colony was partially burnt in the 2019/20 bushfires and thanks to swift help from Saving our Species (SoS), NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service and Friends of the BTRW, those in the burnt regions survived the devastating fires.
2021/22 has been a great year for the colony, with 35 adults and 20 new joeys recorded across both sites. However, there was one issue facing these joeys in their first few months of life - they were completely nameless! To fix this, we turned to the public for some help and little bit of creativity. The local and state-wide community submitted over 200 names for the joeys, giving us plenty to choose from. Lucky Kangaroo Valley landholders who generously protect BTRW habitat on their property were the first to name this season’s joeys, with the other names being hand-picked by the SoS and NPWS crew.
After much deliberation, we’re excited to announce the names of the 2021-22 brush-tailed rock-wallaby generation!

Frolic Tenzing Matilda
Walloola Basil Rocky
Jai Pickle Taco
Patch Caper Noodle
Wally Dwayne the Rock Wallaby  

Why do we name the wallabies?

While it may seem all fun and games, these wallabies need names for practical purposes. In a little bit of ‘big brother’, we have monitoring cameras set up throughout the colony’s habitat. The BTRW crew can identify individual wallabies that show up on these cameras based on various markings on their body. Each wallaby needs a name so we can easily track their movements, activities and health, and identify any issues if we see them.

What else do we do for the BTRW?

The Saving our Species BTRW project spans across NSW and aims to stabilise or increase populations at 11 priority sites and two contributing sites. Threatened species conservation is hard work and this project is no exception, composed of many moving parts including:

  • Ongoing pest animal control across extant sites
  • Release of captive-bred animals into small and inbred populations to increase genetic diversity
  • Research into monitoring methods, population responses to threats and threat management
  • Bushfire recovery work following the 2019-20 summer bushfires

Friends of the Brush-Trailed Rock-Wallaby

Did your name get picked? Or do you want to follow the journey of these joeys, and the others in the colony? Then you can become a member of the Friends of the Brush-Tailed Rock-Wallaby and receive a quarterly newsletter that includes colony reports. You can also adopt a rock-wallaby on the Friends of the BTRW website.