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Banded Hare Wallaby (Lagostrophus fasciatus)

Banded hare wallaby

The banded hare wallaby is currently found on the Islands of Bernier and Dorre off western Australia. Although the banded hare wallaby was once found across the south-western portion of the Australia, it is believed to have been extinct on the mainland since 1963, and the last recorded evidence of the banded hare wallaby on the Australian mainland was in 1906. It is possible that the devastation of the species can be attributed to the loss of habitat (to the clearing of vegetation, the loss of food (due to competition with other animals), and predators.

Banded hare wallabies are nocturnal and tend to live together at the same nesting site. This species is quite social. Nesting occurs in thickets under very dense brush. This species prefers to live in Acacia ligulata scrub. Males are extremely aggressive.

The average banded hare wallaby weighs 1.7g and measures about 800mm from the head to the end of the tail. It is notable that females weigh more than males. The tail is almost the same length (averaging 375mm). Banded hare wallabies have short noses. Long, grey fur is speckled with yellow and silver and fades into a light grey on the underbelly. There is no color variation on the face or head, the coloring is solid grey. Dark, horizontal stripes of fur start at the middle of the back and stop at the base of the tail.

Banded hare wallabies are vegetarians and receive most of their water from food. This species prefers to eat various grasses, fruit, and other vegetation. Male aggression is usually brought out in competition for food with other male banded hare wallabies and is very rarely expressed toward females.

Mating season starts in December and ends in September. Banded hare wallabies reach maturity at one year of age, breeding usually starts in the second year. Gestation appears to last several months and mothers generally raise one young each year, although it is possible for female banded hare wallabies to produce two young per year. Young remain in their motherís pouch for six months and continue to be weaned for another three months. In situations where a motherís young dies, some mothers have an extra embryo to possibly rear another.

 

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Bibliography

A Field Guide to the Mammals of Australia, Menkhorst, P and Knight, F. ©2001.

Banded Hare Wallaby, Massaro, F., 8/6/04, http://www.sths.org/students/project98/massarof.htm.

Animal Info-Banded Hare Wallaby, Massicot, P., 8/6/04, www.animalinfo.org/species/lagofasc.htm.


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