The elusive Brush-tailed Rock-wallaby (Petrogale pencillata, also known as the Shadow), once bounded up rock outcrops, grazed on the highland grasses, and is now sadly extinct across much of its range.
Hunting for the fur trade, predation by introduced carnivores (foxes and cats), competition from native and introduced herbivores (rabbits, goats and kangaroos) and habitat fragmentation are all thought to have contributed to their disappearance from the landscape.
FAUNA Research Alliance, Parks Victoria, University of Adelaide and WWF-Australia are research the return of the Brush-tailed Rock-Wallaby to the Grampians National Park. FAUNA RA research involving genetics and scat analysis has demonstrated that reintroduced animals are surviving and breeding in one experiment site. The next stage in the project involves evaluating habitat across the Grampians to identify the best possible potential reintroduction sites to ensure released animals have the best chance of survival.
This reintroduction project aims to restore an important locally extinct species back into its previous habitat and expand our knowledge of the translocation biology of this species and marsupials in general. The work of the project team will also value add to other projects and species in the region supporting on-going feral animal control programs for the introduced red fox and European rabbit.
This project is currently supported by WWF-Australia and the Shultz Foundation in collaboration with Parks Victoria, Wildlife Unlimited and Bush Science Services.