Facts about this animal
Tammars are small wallabies. Males have a head-body length of 59-68 cm, their tail is 38-45 cm long, and their body-.weight ranges from 2.9 to 6.1 kgs. Females are somewhat smaller and lighter. Tammar wallabies have a short and sleek coat, which is dark, grizzled grey-brown above, becoming rufous on the sides of the body and limbs, and pale-buff below.
The habitat of tammar wallabies includes coastal scrub, heath, dry sclerophyll (leafy) forest and thickets in mallee and woodland, where they use dense, low vegetation for daytime shelter and open grassy areas for feeding. They are nocturnal, not leaving the scrub until after dark and returning to it before dawn. They are essentially solitary having defined home ranges that overlap the home ranges of others.
The tammar wallaby is herbivorous and its diet consists mostly of grasses. The tammar wallaby is one of only two kangaroo species with a strictly seasonal breeding pattern. Births occur from late January to March. Within a few hours of giving birth the female mates again. The resulting embryo remains quiescent during lactation and is reactivated within a few days after mid December. The young enters the pouch about 40 days later, one year after the mating at which it was conceived, and is suckled in the pouch for eight to nine months. Females become sexually mature at about nine months while they are still suckling, but males do not become mature until nearly two years old. The rate of reproduction is high, with more than 90 per cent of all females carrying a pouch-young by the end of the breeding season.
Did you know?
that there was a lot of confusion in the naturalist's treatment of tammar specimens taken by the early expeditions from various islands and the Australian mainland? This resulted in no less than seven different species names given to Western Australian specimens.
|Name (Scientific)||Macropus eugenii|
|Name (English)||Tammar Wallaby|
|Name (French)||Wallaby de l'île d'Eugène|
|Name (Spanish)||Canguro tammar|
|CITES Status||Not listed|
|CMS Status||Not listed|
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© Zoos SA
|Range||Southwestern and South Australia and some coastal islands|
|Habitat||Coastal scrub, heath, dry leafy forest and thickets|
|Wild population||Unknown, but it is considered common within its limited habitat (Red List IUCN 2011)|
|Zoo population||161 reported to ISIS (2005)|
In the Zoo
How this animal should be transported
For air transport, Container Note 83 of the IATA Live Animals Regulations should be followed.
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© Zoos SA
Why do zoos keep this animal
Because of their nocturnal life style, tammar wallabies are not of particular interest to zoo visitors, unles sthey are presented in a Moonlight Exhibit. The main incentive for keeping tammers is thus ex situ conservation. AZA and EAZA operate coordinated breeding programmes. The re-discovery of the mainland tammar wallaby, prompted the development of a cooperative repatriation programme. 85 tammar wallabies were successfully repatriated from New Zealand in 2003-04 and were held in quarantine for twelve months at the Monarto Zoological Gardens. The Zoological Society of South Australia, which operates both Adelaide and Monarto zoos, participated in the post-release monitoring of the animals.