Table of Contents
Why do wallabies die? Wallabies mainly die due to a lack of nutrition, getting killed by other animals such as dingoes, foxes, eagles, cats, human activity, and becoming victims of diseases. Mortality in Wallabies is furthermore affected by bushfires. Why do wallabies die? The lack of nutrition is, by far, the major reason why Wallabies die. The lack of nutrition is often caused by tooth wear and external factors such as extreme drought. In this article, you’ll learn why do wallabies die?
No Nutritional Food
Why do wallabies die? Poor food availability especially affects young Wallabies. Seasons of extreme drought dramatically reduce the availability of sufficient nutrients. While grown-up red Wallabies can perfectly adapt in the dry areas of the Australian continent, especially weak and young animals can’t withstand the harshest conditions. A lack of nutrition is the main reason that causes mortality in young Wallabies that only recently got weaned. They have a lack of reserves. A lack of nutrition also affects joeys that live in their mother’s pouch. Poor feed availability leads to survival rates of joeys are really low.
Extreme tooth wear mainly affects elderly Wallabies. Tooth wear leads to the inability to cut grasses which ultimately leads to a lack of nutrition. The animals become weak and vulnerable and eventually prone to infections. Weak animals are also easy prey.
Why do wallabies die? Predation by humans and animals affect Wallabies, and wallaroos. Wallabies react differently to predation. Studies show that red Wallabies prefer moving in open plains where they can rely on their fast movement. Grey Wallabies prefer moving in covered areas and undergrowth of scrub.
Why do wallabies die? Wedge – tailed eagles, dingos, and foxes are the natural predators of Wallabies. Humans also affect the population due to commercial harvesting as well as habitat loss due to extensive farming and clearing of woodland.While grown-up large species aren’t easy prey for dingos and foxes, younger Wallabies often end up being caught by predators. Joeys have neither the necessary strength and fighting skills, nor the ground speed to escape their predators. Adult red Wallabies are extremely fast on wide-open plains with top speeds which mean they can escape easily. Younger Wallabies and smaller types, however, cannot really escape easily.
In order to catch larger adult Wallabies, the predators‘team up and hunt in groups. This behavior is common in severe droughts when there are hardly any young Wallabies left, and food for both the Wallabies and its predators is sparse. Besides, old and weak Wallabies are often caught by dingos.
Why do wallabies die? The dingo or dog fence in Australia is a perfect example to study the effects of dingos on Wallabies. Inside the protected area there are hardly any dingos, and that helps the Wallabies population. Hence dingos control the Wallabies population outside the protected area. In good seasons, dingos find easier prey like rabbits. Drought, however, reduces the available amount of rabbits, and then dingos start to catch Wallabies.
Why do wallabies die? You might have heard about Wallabies boxing but Wallabies do the same. Wallaby boxing is a ritualized fight to determine the position of a Wallabies within the mob. Wallabies not only fight to get access to females. Once they leave the pouch, they playfully learn how to fight. That skill comes in handy for their survival in the wild. Whereas joeys are easy prey, adult Wallabies fight for their lives. Male Wallabies, in particular, often successfully fight against dingos and foxes.
The larger species of wallabies can effectively fight against foxes and cats. Numerous smaller Wallabies species such as wallabies, however, are severely affected by dingoes, foxes, and cats. Wallabies and quokkas are significantly smaller than Wallabies and are, therefore, easy prey.
Wallaby Mortality Factors
Why do wallabies die? There are lots of activities had and still has a significant impact on the entire Wallabies population. Wallabies can benefit from man – made water sources for cattle and sheep in the inland areas of Australia. That reduces mortality in extreme drought. Simultaneously humans also destroy the habitat of certain smaller Wallabies species. Smaller wallaby species have become extinct. Commercial Wallabies harvesting and roadkill further influence the mortality in Wallabies.
Habitat loss and fragmentation have long-term effects on the entire Wallabies population. Intensive agriculture, mass clearings of bushland and woodland beginning in the 19th century brought smaller Wallabies species closer to extinction.
Why do wallabies die? Commercial harvesting of Wallabies is used to control the Wallabies population. In well-protected areas, the Wallabies population often skyrocketed. This often affected local farmers and made replantation of forests more difficult. The state and territory governments, therefore, publish quotas for harvesting to maintain a certain amount of Wallabies in each area.
The meat is used for human consumption and it is known to be low in fat and high in protein. About 40 % of harvested Wallabies are used to produce meat for pets. Wallabies leather is another byproduct of commercial Wallabies harvesting.
Why do wallabies die? There are hardly any diseases that significantly affect the Wallabies population. Studies on common Wallabies diseases for animals held in captivity mostly showed diseases of the alimentary tract, followed by pneumonia and an infection called toxoplasmosis. An unfavorable environment may lead to weaker animals that become prone to infections. The lumpy jaw infection, for example, has been diagnosed in some dead animals in the wild. Diseases are relatively well monitored due to the inspection of Wallabies meat for human consumption.
Why do wallabies die? Droughts, floods, extreme wet or cold weather weaken the Wallabies population and make it more vulnerable to infections and diseases. Epidemic diseases occur in the Wallabies population from time to time. However, the high mortality rate within a short period of time usually prevents the spread of the disease across the country.
Wallaby vs. Bushfires
Why do wallabies die? Wallabies have always lived with the imminent threat of bushfires. Wallabies, larger wallabies, and wallaroos are rather quick animals than can outrun local bushfires. The animals can escape but fires lead to a reduction of grassland and food which eventually leads to a lack of nutrition and increased mortality.
Larger burnt areas make it even more difficult for Wallabies to find food within their known home range. Contaminated water further increases the risk of making Wallabies sick. Bushfires affect Wallabies joeys – they’re not as fast as larger adults and often cannot escape.
Why do wallabies die? Australia is a vast country and only a small fraction of the continent has been affected by bushfires. This means that local home ranges of Wallabies were completely destroyed but it did not have major effects on the entire Wallabies population. As a consequence, some regions temporarily put their Wallabies harvesting program on hold to help the Wallabies population in affected areas.