The red-necked wallaby, also called Bennett's wallaby, is a member of the macropod family. They are smaller than kangaroos and wallaroos and can be easily distinguished by their most characteristic feature - a reddish coat on the shoulders.
The red-necked wallaby is a macropod marsupial.
It is a medium-sized mammal.
It is native to the east coast of Australia, with a significant occurrence in Tasmania.
Over the years, it has also been introduced to New Zealand, Ireland, United Kingdom, and France.
Their typical habitat consists of eucalypt forests, coastal scrub, and woodlands.
They are mainly solitary animals.
In times of food and water scarcity, they join together in mobs. Mobs consist of up to 30 individuals.
Blackish muzzles and paws characterize them, they have a white stripe on their upper lip, and their fur is reddish at the shoulders.
Their long ears can turn 180 degrees independently.
Their body reaches up to 90 centimeters in length, and their tail can range from 60 to 87 centimeters in length.
Males are larger than females.
Red-necked wallabies can reach a weight of up to 26 kilograms.
Their average weight is between 14 and 18 kilograms.
The main diet of a red-necked wallaby consists of herbs and grasses.
In times of drought, they feed on roots, which is their primary water source.
They are nocturnal animals, being most active at dusk and dawn.
During the day, they rest in darkened places, such as forests and ravines.
Their main predators include dingoes and wedge-tailed eagles.
They are also hunted commercially for their meat and fur.
The red-necked wallaby's mating season depends on its habitat.
In mainland Australia, they breed essentially year-round, while the population living in Tasmania breeds between January and July.
Females of the species reach sexual maturity at about 14 months of age, while males reach sexual maturity at about 19 months.
The gestation period of a red-necked wallaby is about 30 days.
The joey is born without fur, is blind, is the size of a bean, and weighs less than one gram. After birth, it climbs into the pouch, where it feeds for the next eight to nine months. In rare cases, twin pregnancies occur.
The young usually emerges from the pouch when it is seven months old.
Alloparenting is common among red-necked wallabies.
Females often take care of a non-descendant young.
The life expectancy of a red-necked wallaby in the wild is between nine and 15 years.
Specimens living under human protection, i.e., zoos, usually live up to five years, but many cases are as long-lived as those in the wild.
They are good swimmers, and their swimming style is similar to that of dogs.
The population of red-necked wallabies is not threatened, and their numbers are stable.
There have been times when increased human hunting for meat and fur, as well as farmers' treatment of the red-necked wallaby as a threat to crops and sheep food supplies, have led to a significant decline in their population.