Outback road trip part 5: Search for the yellow-footed rock wallaby

by John Wilson June. 04, 2021 240 views

The yellow-footed rock wallaby is a beautiful but quite rare species. Could we locate one in the wild?

We're in Alligator Gorge, South Australia, looking for the elusive yellow-footed rock wallaby.

We're in Alligator Gorge, South Australia, looking for the elusive yellow-footed rock wallaby.

The Flinders Ranges are in arid outback country but at least there are a few pools of water here in the gorge that might sustain wallabies.

The Flinders Ranges are in arid outback country but at least there are a few pools of water here in the gorge that might sustain wallabies.

The gorge is interesting in its own right. These wave patterns were formed 600 million years ago when this area was under the sea.

The gorge is interesting in its own right. These wave patterns were formed 600 million years ago when this area was under the sea.

It sure looks a good candidate for rock wallabies.

It sure looks a good candidate for rock wallabies.

Great place for a walk, anyway.

Great place for a walk, anyway.

Nice grass trees, but not a rock wallaby in sight.

Nice grass trees, but not a rock wallaby in sight.

Let's try Warren Gorge. Maybe we can find one here. Some wallabies are reasonably common, in fact, I see swamp wallabies at home in suburban Sydney. But the yellow-footed rock wallaby is reduced to a few small populations in the outback. There are perhaps just a few thousand remaining.

Let's try Warren Gorge. Maybe we can find one here. Some wallabies are reasonably common, in fact, I see swamp wallabies at home in suburban Sydney. But the yellow-footed rock wallaby is reduced to a few small populations in the outback. There are perhaps just a few thousand remaining.

By the way, why did the early European settlers feel the need to chop down every tree? It's quite odd looking out from the fully treed national park towards this barren landscape.

By the way, why did the early European settlers feel the need to chop down every tree? It's quite odd looking out from the fully treed national park towards this barren landscape.

Anyway, I digress. Surely there's a rock wallaby here somewhere?

Anyway, I digress. Surely there's a rock wallaby here somewhere?

More grass trees. No wallabies.

More grass trees. No wallabies.

It's getting late. I don't think we're going to find one.

It's getting late. I don't think we're going to find one.

I got distracted photographing trees in the setting sun.

I got distracted photographing trees in the setting sun.

So I walked straight past her. Or him. My companions called me back.

So I walked straight past her. Or him. My companions called me back.

Well, hello! Look at you!

Well, hello! Look at you!

How lucky for us we found you! Look at your beautiful markings, so unique.

How lucky for us we found you! Look at your beautiful markings, so unique.

Thanks so much for stopping by! You made our day. Take care!

Thanks so much for stopping by! You made our day. Take care!

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Gethin Thomas 3 months ago

Well done for being persistent. It was worth the wait. Cute little thing. Not a lot of people know this but we have several naturalised groups of wallabies in the UK living wild. Zoo specimens that have escaped over the years. I doubt they have yellow feet though.smile

3 months ago Edited
John Wilson Replied to Gethin Thomas 3 months ago

That's very interesting, I didn't know that. I wonder if they've picked up a different accent? grinning

3 months ago Edited
Gethin Thomas Replied to John Wilson 3 months ago

They have, they are terribly terribly English, don't ya know.smile They also moan about the weather a lot.

3 months ago Edited
John Wilson Replied to Gethin Thomas 3 months ago

smile I'm sure they're now very posh and know how to hold a teacup.

3 months ago Edited
Benny Law 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Good story with a happy ending. 🙂 It's a beautiful creature indeed.

3 months, 2 weeks ago Edited
John Wilson Replied to Benny Law 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Thanks very much Benny, its striped tail and markings were a surprise to me, nothing else quite like that in the different varieties of wallabies and kangaroos. Let's hope it will continue to survive.

3 months, 2 weeks ago Edited
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