Biodiversity

Species Profile and Threats Database


For information to assist proponents in referral, environmental assessments and compliance issues, refer to the Policy Statements and Guidelines (where available), the Conservation Advice (where available) or the Listing Advice (where available).
 
In addition, proponents and land managers should refer to the Recovery Plan (where available) or the Conservation Advice (where available) for recovery, mitigation and conservation information.

EPBC Act Listing Status Listed as Vulnerable
Recovery Plan Decision Recovery Plan required, included on the Commenced List (1/11/2009).
 
Adopted/Made Recovery Plans Recovery plan for five species of rock wallabies: Black-footed rock wallaby (Petrogale lateralis), Rothschild rock wallaby (P. rothschildi), Short-eared rock wallaby (P. brachyotis), Monjon (P. burbidgei) and Nabarlek (P. concinna) 2012-2022 (Pearson, D.J., 2013) [Recovery Plan].
 
Other EPBC Act Plans Threat Abatement Plan for Predation by the European Red Fox (Environment Australia (EA), 1999a) [Threat Abatement Plan].
 
Threat Abatement Plan for Predation by Feral Cats (Environment Australia (EA), 1999b) [Threat Abatement Plan].
 
Threat Abatement Plan for Competition and Land Degradation by Feral Goats (Environment Australia (EA), 1999d) [Threat Abatement Plan].
 
Policy Statements and Guidelines Survey guidelines for Australia's threatened mammals. EPBC Act survey guidelines 6.5 (Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPaC), 2011j) [Admin Guideline].
 
Federal Register of
    Legislative Instruments
Declaration under s178, s181, and s183 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 - List of threatened species, List of threatened ecological communities and List of threatening processes (Commonwealth of Australia, 2000) [Legislative Instrument].
 
State Government
    Documents and Websites
WA:Fauna Species Profiles - Black-flanked Rock-wallaby Petrogale lateralis (Gould, 1842) (Western Australia Department of Environment and Conservation (WA DEC), 2010d) [Information Sheet].
Non-government
    Documents and Websites
Priority Threat Management of Pilbara Species of Conservation Significance (Carwardine, J., S. Nicol, S. Van Leeuwen, B. Walters, J. Firn, A. Reeson, T.G. Martin & I. Chades, 2014).
The action plan for threatened Australian macropods 2011-2021 (World Wildlife Fund for Nature - Australia (WWF), 2011).
State Listing Status
WA: Listed as Vulnerable (Wildlife Conservation Act 1950 (Western Australia): September 2013 list)
Scientific name Petrogale lateralis lateralis [66647]
Family Macropodidae:Diprotodonta:Mammalia:Chordata:Animalia
Species author Gould,1842
Infraspecies author  
Reference  
Distribution map Species Distribution Map

This is an indicative distribution map of the present distribution of the species based on best available knowledge. See map caveat for more information.

Illustrations Google Images
http://petroleumclub.q-net.net.au//kid2kid/barrow9.htm

Scientific name: Petrogale lateralis lateralis

Common name: Black-flanked Rock-wallaby

Other names: Warru, Black-footed Rock-wallaby

Conventionally accepted as Petrogale lateralis lateralis Gould, 1842 (AFD 2010). Five subspecies of Petrogale lateralis are known (WWF 2011):

  • P. l. lateralis, known from central and southern WA, listed as Vulnerable under the EPBC Act.
  • P. l. hacketti, known from Recherche Bay, WA, listed as Vulnerable under the EPBC Act.
  • P. l. (MacDonnell Ranges race), known from southern Northern Territory and eastern WA, listed as Vulnerable under the EPBC Act.
  • P. l. (western Kimberley race), known from the west Kimberley, WA, listed as Vulnerable under the EPBC Act.
  • P. l. pearsoni, known from Pearson Island, South Australia.

The Black-flanked Rock-wallaby is dark grey-brown in colour with a distinct white cheek-stripe. A dark brown to black stripe is visible from between the ears to beyond the shoulders. The coat is thick and woolly, and the tail is brownish-grey with a black tip. The head and body length of the subspecies is between 475-521 mm in males and 446-486 mm in females. Individuals weigh between 2.3 and 7.1 kg. The long tail, up to 605 mm long, is important for balance when hopping among rocks (Strahan 1998; WA DEC 2010d).

The Black-flanked Rock-wallaby has undergone a large range restriction, formerly being known from suitable habitat across central and southern Western Australia. The current known populations remain restricted to suitable habitat in the Little Sandy Desert, Cape Range, the Wheatbelt region, Barrow Island and Salisbury Island (WA DEC 2010d). Mainland populations occur at (Maxwell et al. 1996; Pearson 1992; Pearson & Kinnear 1997):

  • east of the Fortescue River Roadhouse
  • Cape Range
  • Ningaloo Station
  • Calvert Range
  • Kalbarri National Park
  • Durba Hills (may have declined from some locations in this area)
  • Nangeen Hill, Wheatbelt region
  • Mount Caroline, Wheatbelt region
  • Mount Stirling, Wheatbelt region
  • Sales Rock, Wheatbelt region
  • Querkin Rocks, Wheatbelt region
  • Tutakin Rock, Wheatbelt region.

Subfossil remains are known from Devil's Lair Cave (Merilees 1979 [as Petrogale penicillata]) and two previously known colonies at Depuch Island and Mount Ragged in Cape Arid National Park are now extinct (Pearson & Kinnear 1997).

Total population figures are unknown, however the Barrow Island population is estimated at approximately 150 individuals, the Salisbury Island population at approximately 200 and five of the mainland wheatbelt populations total approximately 193 individuals (Eldridge et al 2004; Pearson & Kinnear 1997).

Eldridge and colleagues (2004) studied the genetic diversity in both mainland and island populations and found higher levels of genetic diversity in small, remnant mainland populations than the island populations. Nevertheless, as the island populations are exposed to less threats, all populations could be considered important in maintaining the species.

The Black-flanked Rock-wallaby occurs in nature reserves at Nangeen Hill, Mount Stirling, Mount Caroline, Tutakin, Barrow Island, Recherche Archipelago (Salisbury Island), Kalbarri and Cape Range (Maxwell et al. 1996). The subspecies has also been successfully translocated into two Western Australian national parks, Walyuga and Avon Valley, and into the Paruna National Park in Victoria (Mawson 2004).

The habitat of Black-flanked Rock-wallaby varies between colonies but always involves grassland feeding habitat for feeding in close proximity to cliff, rock-pile, talus or escarpment refuge habitat. Rock cliffs or other steep substrates with adequate shelter and refuge are essential for breeding. Examples of habitat include limestone outcrops and coastal cliffs on Barrow Island, the gorge of the Murchison River in Kalbarri National Park, granite outcrops in the wheatbelt, and granite outcrops, sandstone cliffs and gabbro rock piles on Depuch Island (Maxwell et al. 1996; Pearson & Kinnear 1997).

The Black-flanked Rock-wallaby is sexually mature between one and two years of age (AWC undated). Breeding can be continuous after this time, but varies in response to seasonal rainfall. A feature of their reproduction is embryonic diapause, where the developing embryo becomes dormant until conditions are suitable for development. The gestation period is approximately 30 days and young remain in the pouch for six to seven months (AWC undated; WA DEC 2010d). Young are then left in rock shelters whilst females feed (Seinfeld 2008). Although rock-wallabies pair for life, the females will mate with different males (WA DEC 2010d).

The Black-flanked Rock-wallaby feeds on grasses, herbs, leaves and fruits. Rock-wallabies do not need to drink, and conserve water by sheltering from hot daytime temperatures in caves (WA DEC 2010d).

The Black-flanked Rock-wallaby is a shy, wary animal that does not move far from the protection of rocky outcrops. In the early evening and night, individuals will move to open grassy areas, close to rock shelters, to graze. During times of drought, individuals may venture further and have been reported to be capable of moving up to 4 km between rock outcrops (AWC undated).

Predation by the Fox (Vulpes vulpes) has been considered to be the major threat to the Black-flanked Rock-wallaby and control of Foxes has been demonstrated to result in an increase in wallaby numbers (Kinnear et al. 1988, 1998). Other invasive species which could threaten the species include the Goat (Capra hircus), the Sheep (Ovis aries) and the Rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus), due to competition for food resources (Maxwell et al. 1996; WA DEC 2010d). Following the withdrawal of Aboriginal people from traditional areas, changes to fire regimes, have been implicated in the loss of suitable feeding habitat and subsequently a decline of some populations (Pearson 1992).

The wheatbelt populations have been used to test the effects of Fox control. Where Fox control measures were introduced, two of the five populations of Black-flanked Rock-wallaby subsequently increased, totaling 116 (up from 29 prior to Fox control) at Nangeen Hill and 50 (up from 13 prior to Fox control) at Mount Caroline in 1990. In the three controls, populations either remained stable or declined to extinction (Kinnear et al. 1998).

At Nangeen Nature Reserve, near Kellerberrin, a 5 km long, 1.8 m high electric fence has been constructed that surrounds the 176 ha reserve. In 2007, the reserve contained 135 Black-flanked Rock-wallaby individuals, which dropped to 5 in May 2013 due to fox predation. Following completion of the fence, 22 individuals were introduced to the reserve to increase numbers (Central Midlands & Coastal Advocate 2013).

Government funding grants

The Western Desert Lands Aboriginal Corporation (Jamukurnu-Yapalikunu) (Western Australia) received $39 964 through the Threatened Species Network Community Grants in 2008–09 for Martu Multi-Species Surveys in the Western Desert. The project incorporated targeted monitoring and threat abatement works for the Black-flanked Rock-wallaby, as well as multi-species track based surveys and patch burning at a number of locations.

The Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands is a large Aboriginal local government area located in the remote north-west of South Australia. Under Round 3 of the Australian Government's Working on Country program, Anangu were to have up to two teams of rangers to provide environmental services with a particular focus on activities to support a recovery plan for the threatened and culturally significant Black-flanked Rock-wallaby and the surrounding ecological communities and habitats. Rangers were to monitor Black-flanked Rock-wallaby colonies and aim to control feral predators and buffel grass across the country.

Management documents relevant to the Black-flanked Rock-wallaby are at the start of the profile.

The following table lists known and perceived threats to this species. Threats are based on the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) threat classification version 1.1.

Threat Class Threatening Species References
Agriculture and Aquaculture:Livestock Farming and Grazing:Grazing pressures and associated habitat changes Petrogale lateralis lateralisin Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006su) [Internet].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation Oryctolagus cuniculus (Rabbit, European Rabbit) Petrogale lateralis lateralisin Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006su) [Internet].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or predation Vulpes vulpes (Red Fox, Fox) Petrogale lateralis lateralisin Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006su) [Internet].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Grazing, tramping, competition and/or habitat degradation Capra hircus (Goat) Petrogale lateralis lateralisin Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006su) [Internet].
Natural System Modifications:Fire and Fire Suppression:Inappropriate and/or changed fire regimes (frequency, timing, intensity) Petrogale lateralis lateralisin Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006su) [Internet].
Species Stresses:Indirect Species Effects:Low numbers of individuals Petrogale lateralis lateralisin Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006su) [Internet].

Australian Faunal Directory (AFD) (2010). Australian Faunal Directory. [Online]. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/abrs/online-resources/fauna/afd/home. [Accessed: 30-May-2010].

Australian Wildlife Conservancy (AWC) (undated). Wildlife Profiles- Mammals-Black-flanked Rock-wallaby (Petrogale lateralis lateralis). [Online]. Available from: http://www.australianwildlife.org/Wildlife-and-Ecosystems/Wildlife-Profiles/Mammals/Blackflanked-Rockwallaby.aspx.

Central Midlands & Coastal Advocate (2013). Hope restored for Wheatbelt Rock Wallaby.

Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPaC) (2011j). Survey guidelines for Australia's threatened mammals. EPBC Act survey guidelines 6.5. [Online]. EPBC Act policy statement: Canberra, ACT: DSEWPAC. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/epbc/publications/threatened-mammals.html.

Eldridge, M.D.B., J.E. Kinnear, K.R. Zenger, L.M. McKenzie & P.B.S. Spencer (2004). Genetic diversity in remnant mainland and "pristine" island populations of three endemic Australian macropodids (Marsupialia): Macropus eugenii, Lagorchestes hirsutus and Petrogale lateralis. Conservation Genetics. 5:325-338.

Environment Australia (EA) (1999a). Threat Abatement Plan for Predation by the European Red Fox. [Online]. Biodiversity Group, Environment Australia. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/publications/tap/foxes08.html.

Environment Australia (EA) (1999b). Threat Abatement Plan for Predation by Feral Cats. [Online]. Biodiversity Group, Environment Australia. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/publications/tap/cats08.html.

Environment Australia (EA) (1999d). Threat Abatement Plan for Competition and Land Degradation by Feral Goats. [Online]. Biodiversity Group, Environment Australia. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/publications/tap/goats08.html.

Kinnear, J.E., M.L. Onus & N.R. Sumner (1998). Fox control and rock-wallaby population dynamics - 2. An update. Wildlife Research. 25: 81-88.

Kinnear, J.E., M.L. Onus & R.N. Bromilow (1988). Fox control and rock-wallaby population dynamics. Australian Wildlife Research. 15:435-450.

Mawson, P.R (2004). Translocations and fauna reconstruction sites: Western Shield Review-February 2003. Conservation Science of Western Australia. 5:2:108-121.

Maxwell, S., A.A. Burbidge & K. Morris (1996). The 1996 Action Plan for Australian Marsupials and Monotremes. [Online]. Wildlife Australia, Environment Australia. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/resource/action-plan-australian-marsupials-and-monotremes.

Merilees, D. (1979). Prehistoric rock wallabies (Marsupialia, Macropodidae, Petrogale) in the far south-west of Western Australia. Journal of the Royal Society of Western Australia. 61:73-96.

Pearson, D.J. (1992). Past and present distribution and abundance of the black-footed rock-wallaby in the Warburton region of Western Australia. Wildlife Research. 19: 605-622.

Pearson, D.J. & J.E. Kinnear (1997). A review of the distribution, status and conservation of rock-wallabies in Western Australia. Australian Mammalogy. 19:137-152.

Seinfeld, J. (2008). Animal Diversity Web. University of Michigan Museum of Zoology. [Online]. Available from: http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Petrogale_lateralis.html. [Accessed: 02-Jun-2010].

Strahan, R. (Ed.) (1998). The Mammals of Australia, Second Edition, rev. Sydney, NSW: Australian Museum and Reed New Holland.

Western Australia Department of Environment and Conservation (WA DEC) (2010d). Fauna Species Profiles - Black-flanked Rock-wallaby Petrogale lateralis (Gould, 1842). [Online]. Available from: http://www.dec.wa.gov.au/content/view/3432/1999/1/2/.

EPBC Act email updates can be received via the Communities for Communities newsletter and the EPBC Act newsletter.

This database is designed to provide statutory, biological and ecological information on species and ecological communities, migratory species, marine species, and species and species products subject to international trade and commercial use protected under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act). It has been compiled from a range of sources including listing advice, recovery plans, published literature and individual experts. While reasonable efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, no guarantee is given, nor responsibility taken, by the Commonwealth for its accuracy, currency or completeness. The Commonwealth does not accept any responsibility for any loss or damage that may be occasioned directly or indirectly through the use of, or reliance on, the information contained in this database. The information contained in this database does not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth. This database is not intended to be a complete source of information on the matters it deals with. Individuals and organisations should consider all the available information, including that available from other sources, in deciding whether there is a need to make a referral or apply for a permit or exemption under the EPBC Act.

Citation: Department of the Environment (2014). Petrogale lateralis lateralis in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/sprat. Accessed Sun, 31 Aug 2014 12:42:10 +1000.