National Zoo & Aquarium

Hello! I’m a Parma Wallaby

The Parma Wallaby is the smallest member of the genus Macropus, standing at 45–53cm tall and weighing 4–5kg. Whilst it prefers wet sclerophyll forest with thick undergrowth, and grassy patches, it can be found occasionally in dry eucalypt forest and rainforests. It is mostly nocturnal taking cover in the thick undergrowth during the day and emerging at night to feed on close-by grassy patches and herbs. Although solitary, Parma Wallabies will often come together to feed when food is abundant. Individual territories are spread widely throughout their range with feeding areas overlapping. The Parma Wallaby’s shy and nocturnal habits make it a difficult animal to spot in the wild.

Parma Wallabies were believed to have become extinct in the early part of the 19th century. However, in 1965 a feral population was discovered to be thriving on Kauwau Island, New Zealand. Great efforts were then made to transport some of these animals back to Australia for a captive breeding and re-introduction program. However, a wild population was re-discovered near Gosford, New South Wales by the Australian Reptile Park’s founder Eric Worrell in the 1970s. The solitary and shy nature of this species is likely to be the reason behind its assumed extinction.

The Parma Wallaby is still under threat of extinction with the New South Wales government listing them as a vulnerable species. The main threats for the Parma Wallaby are attacks from feral cats and foxes and loss of habitat through clearing for grazing and bush fires.

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Parma Wallaby facts

CONSERVATION STATUS Near Threatened
DISTRIBUTION Coast and Ranges of Central and Northern NSW
LIFE SPAN 6–8 years in the wild, 11–15 years in captivity
GESTATION 35 days

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Scrivener Dam, Yarralumla, Canberra, ACT 2611

Open every day from 9:30am to 5:00pm

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