Parma Wallaby

Notamacropus parma

Species Information

These two tiny macropods may be difficult to spot sometimes or mistaken for a Bennett’s wallaby joey, but they are full of character and love to feed on willow!

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The parma wallaby is native to Australia but is localised to the east of New South Wales. They are more frequently found in forested areas, primarily in dry sclerophyll or eucalypt forests, but also in more wet and tropical habitats.

They are small wallabies, with the length of their tails measuring the same length as their body! Females weigh up to only 5kg and males up to 6kg. like all wallabies, parma wallabies can ‘pause’ pregnancies. Wallabies can become pregnant almost immediately after giving birth but can pause a newly fertilised embryo at the blastocyst stage of development – a phenomenon called embryonic diapause. This stage of embryonic development will continue after the joey has left the pouch. The joey can still return to the pouch to nurse even when the younger joey has been born and is attached to another teat in the pouch!

These herbivorous marsupials mainly feeds on grasses, herbs, and plants

Up to 15 years in human care or about 6 to 8 years in the wild.

Parma wallabies are cryptic species, rarely seen as they rest in dense vegetation during the day and becoming more active at night. Although generally solitary, the wallabies do sometimes congregate in small mobs to feed. They primarily communicate using visual cues, such as stomping their feet, wagging their tail, or quivering as a sign of aggression or warning.

The breeding season occurs in the austral autumn and winter months, between March and July. Males will court females by pawing or ‘massaging’ a female’s bottom! A single joey is born after a short gestation period of 35 days. Joeys are born in an altricial and underdeveloped state, with no fur, eyes closed, and only the size of humans fingernail! They instinctively crawl into the mother’s pouch and latch on the teat, drip feeding until the joey has developed enough and grown a strong enough jaw to let go. They stay in the pouch for about 6 months and are completely independent from 10 months.

They are classed as Near Threatened by the IUCN, with main declines to their populations due to forest clearing and bush fires, invasive predators, and food competition with introduced livestock species. Their range has become more localised, with populations now extinct in some areas, such as Illawarra.

The Bennet’s wallaby is also known as the ‘red-necked’ wallaby due to the slight red colouration on their upper back. The parma wallaby are also given a descriptive name, also being called ‘white-throated’ wallabies due to a white coloration on their throat and chest.