Proserpine Rock-wallabies Escape Reality on a Whitsunday Island

Posted on Posted in furry, North QLD

I grew up on the GC, packed my car in search of adventure and ended up in North QLD. Some very lucky Proserpine Rock-wallabies (Petrogale Persephone aka PRW’s) have followed similar footsteps… but for very different reasons.

The Proserpine Rock Wallaby (Petrogale Persephone)

A mob of PRW’s have lived the dream; born and raised in tailor-made enclosures on the Sunny Gold Coast, then whisked away to an island in the Whitsundays to spend their days rockin’ on in the tropical sunshine. Sounds like heaven ay? Unfortunately the reason behind the move isn’t so dreamy.

PRW’s have a highly restricted range, the smallest of any rock wallaby, and are limited to the area around Proserpine (hence the name) and Airlie Beach. Cane fields, houses and highways have replaced the dry vine forests PRW’s used to call home. They are now listed as endangered under both State and Federal legislations. Some of the major threats include;

  • Habitat destruction (a term we hear too much);
  • Habitat fragmentation (which is severing corridors and restricting natural movement) and;
  • Housing development brings it own suite of threats;
  • Predation by domestic pets;
  • Increased road kill;
  • And to top it off – our feline associates can spread a blood parasite called Toxoplasmosis gondii causing blindness and inevitably death.
PRW's are Endangered under state and federal legislation due to a number of threats

So our macropod mates are in the Whitsundays to escape the pressures of reality. The aim of island living is to minimise the threats of disease and predation by securing geographically separate populations of PRW’s.

And despite the gloomy reason for their island getaway, there is light at the end of the tunnel for PRW’s. The island has proved to be an aphrodisiac to these creatures and population numbers suggest they are enjoying Island Lifestyle. So much so that they may be inhabiting more then one Whitsunday Island in the not too distant future.

The Whitsunday Island where PRW's are now living large and successfully reproducing

You too can do your bit for the Prossy Rock-wallaby, in fact all Australian wildlife. If you must own a cat, keep it where it belongs… in a croc trap… I mean… inside the house at all times.

6 thoughts on “Proserpine Rock-wallabies Escape Reality on a Whitsunday Island

  1. LUV – the cat comment! Prefer the first option though
    Someone’s feral “PET” sneaks into my yard every night (and probably during the day when I’m at work) to eat the birds I am trying to encourage by planting a native garden.

  2. Are the PRW’s native to these islands??? And how far was their historical range. There are just too many of these stories at the moment.

    1. Hey There Clint!! Awesome question. They were only discovered (formally) in 1976 so unfortunately there are gaps in historical information and range distribution. The wallabies are found on Gloucester Island (north of Proserpine) however this island can be accessed on spring low tides. The Whitsunday Islands are close to their current range and offer all the resources required for this recovery action but I’m not sure if they were inhabited historically.
      And you’re right… It’s seems to be a broken record at the moment. I’m not convinced it will be changing any time soon either…

  3. poor moggies, they cant help being born a cat, it’s their irresponsible owners that (maybe) should be croc bait………..

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