*BTRW – Brush-tailed Rock Wallaby*
On Nov. 3rd, 2007 Tony Corrigan, BTRW(Brush-tailed Rock Wallaby) Project Manager with the Grampians National Park, together with Sylvia van der Peet, Threatened Species officer, led a group of approx. 30 people on a 4WD tour of the proposed ‘release site’ for the Brush-tailed Rock Wallaby. This elusive creature known as the ‘Shadow’ once thrived in small colonies in the rocky outcrops & terraces of the Gramps, however it is thought to have become extinct in the 1930’s. Some knowledgeable locals believe the wallaby existed well into the 60’s, in much smaller numbers of course. Predation came about due to competition with foxes, goats and other feral animals.
Tony Corrigan, has come to the Grampians from Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve (outside Canberra) where Wallaby fostering trials started in 1997. Tony is most passionate about the planned release of wallabies into the Grampians; he was extremely pleased with the public response to the day trip as the weather was wet, wet, wet. By speaking to as many interested parties as he can, Tony hopes to gather a band of volunteers to help with monitoring, scat collection, publicity, money-raising to purchase necessary equipment. eg. traps.
After our group left the proposed release site we proceeded to an area close to Dunkeld where a number of breeding animals are being held in what is called the ’soft’ release enclosure. Here Wallabies are monitored for health & fitness etc. Because of their extremely shy nature we did not see any during our time there.
Recent animal health checks of the Wallabies made by Tony together with senior Veterinarian Dr. David Schultz from Adelaide University, found the animals had gained weight and were in good general health.
Their future looks exciting and hopefully the release date for these elusive creatures will not be too far away. Thanks to Tony & Sylvia for a wonderfully informative day.
Information re various projects can be found at the “Chasing Shadows”:http://www.vicrockwallaby.com/ website which is dedicated to the conservation and recovery of the Brush Tailed Rock Wallaby.