Wildlife Research Wildlife Research Society
Ecology, management and conservation in natural and modified habitats

Past and present distribution and abundance of the black-footed wallaby in the Warburton region of Western Australia

DJ Pearson

Wildlife Research 19(6) 605 - 621
Published: 1992


The black-footed rock-wallaby (Petrogale lateralis) was once widespread and abundant in rock-piles and ranges in the Warburton region of Western Australia. However, by the 1970s a major decline in its distribution and abundance was apparent. Ranges and rock outcrops were searched with local Aboriginal people to document the past and present distribution and abundance of the species and Aboriginal knowledge of its ecology. The journals of explorers, prospectors and surveyors were examined for records of rock-wallabies. Geologists, dingo trappers and other people who had worked in the region since 1930 were interviewed to document more recent sightings. Extant, small populations of rock-wallabies were located in six ranges, where they were inhabiting extensive gabbro rock-piles and rugged quartzite gullies, often in close proximity to permanent water. None of the granite outcrops visited had extant populations. Continuing local extinctions suggest that surviving populations are under threat and management intervention is required for their long term conservation.


© CSIRO 1992

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