YELLOW FOOTED ROCK WALLABY, or ANDU
Seeing the yellow footed rock wallaby was one of the highlights of my stay in the Flinders Ranges. These little marsupials are also known by their Adnyamathanha name, Andu. A colony of them live in the Brachina Gorge and if you are quiet and observant you can see them on a rock scree.
They are shy and very well camouflaged. Can you spot the 2 andu in this photo?
Before white people came to the area they used to be very common but their status now is vulnerable. They were hunted for their skins and to cut down on competition for the grazing sheep brought in by pastoralists.
As well, their populations have been decimated by foxes and feral cats.
The andu, as marsupials, carry their joeys in pouches. As the joey grows it becomes more difficult for the mother to jump from rock to rock. So the joeys are left in rock crevices while the mother forages. A great idea when there was no real danger from bigger predators. However foxes and cats changed that. Instead of being a safe creche, the crevice made the joey easy pickings. Now, the National Park has established programmes to help protect them.
This andu came out after the other photographers had gone, and posed just for me!
And then bounded away!