Christmas Bells

Christmas Bells
Christmas Bells - Blandfordia nobilis

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Red-necked Wallabies of Mt Rae (near Taralga)

My friend Mark Selmes at Mt Rae regularly sends me wildlife photos taken at his property. This week he has excelled himself with photos of his young male Red-necked Wallabies (Macropus rufogriseus) testing themselves against eachother - (as young male mammals are prone to do).

Then there is a wonderful portrait of the "Old Buck" Red-necked Wallaby, watching and observing the young pretenders to his throne. At this stage, he has no problems, for they are fighting eachother - not him!

***** ****** *****

Mark wrote:
The ultimate winner is just watching the futile attempts of these three. He stands next to the female only yards from me, and defies all attempts from the younger three to get close.
His is the face of experience, a seasoned fighter.
The female is not happy - she often hides in my (now overgrown ) garden with her "little one" at foot, to seek protection and some interesting plants
to eat.

But this morning the males are emboldened and seem to have no fear of me anymore. She runs for the bush, her little one disappearing into the garden shrubs, sitting silent as he has been trained to do.

In the bush the fur is flying as Red-necks run in all directions.
(Click to enlarge - that is loose fur catching the light, not flies.)
Although this is nature and she is not a raised wallaby I've had enough and
chase after them. If she WAS one of MY girls she would not be treated like this! (DJW Note: Mark was once a volunteer for WIRES - hence the demonstrated sense of "bonding".)

Mark continues:
I find her hiding in the front of a wombat burrow.
The bigger and older male is fighting the others.
Fight scene AFight scene B
When I run in, they all flee, but the bigger one seems to forget himself and tries to push past me to get at the female, who is crouching in fear.
I let out a yell , and ALL the males flee.

The female comes out and sits silently next to me for 5 mins. She then hops quickly to the garden where her young one immediately appears. They hide in the shrubs for the next hour. Then Mum rests and feeds her little boy. They lie down and stroke each other.Occasionally shapes move on the ridge line - the males are still circling. I
keep an eye on the female and her little one and she sometimes nibbles on
the flowers. Then she dashes for the bush, her little one flying after her.

Here is another photo of the first (young) male sneaking up and spying on the young Mum.
It was quite funny as they all seemed to look at her - I was standing right there - and it was as if i didn't exist.

Gee, talk about one tracked minds!


DJW Comment.

You can see how Mark loves his animals.

To the "Purists" out there, I say don't worry about Mark's attempted interference in the mating rituals of the Wallabies - Mark is not out in the Mt Rae Forest 24/7 (as the jargon is).

No doubt the survival of the fittest is proceeding apace, despite Mark's protective instincts.

He is getting on with the real task confronting him, protecting the Mt Rae Forest from the local wood cutters who wish to clear the surrounding forests. See these previous posts:


mick said...

Great photos and story too. I think I would be a bit protective if they were in my yard too.

Denis Wilson said...

Hi Mick
Yes, I know what you mean.
I think Mark did a great job documenting the "shenanigans".

CE Webster said...

Wonderful pictures and a great article. Thanks for the information.