Cute critter comes ashore from Hayman
THIS young rock wallaby, a rare find of an endangered species, was rescued from Hayman Island last week by Fauna Rescue Whitsundays.
Iris, named after the persistent cyclone, was found, assumed to be abandoned by her mother, by an island local and was transported to the mainland.
FRW co-ordinator Kate Purvis said the species was endangered due to its limited population and geographically restricted natural inhabitance.
Weighing in at a mere 750grams, Iris is around six months old.
In March a younger rock wallaby was rescued, but didn’t survive.
“Ruby weighed just 124g and was in a very compromised condition,” Ms Purvis said.
“They’re found naturally only in the Proserpine area. with one small group in a zoo on the Gold Coast.
“Since the cyclone we definitely have had a reduced number of sightings by local residents.
“Back in the 90s national parks genetically selected a population to be artificially placed on Hayman Island as a back-up should the mainland’s population drastically diminish.”
Habitat loss, predators and the fatal disease toxoplasmosis, carried by cats, pose the biggest threat to the species.
CUTE AND CUDDLY: A Proserpine rock wallaby was transferred to the mainland for care by members of Whitsunday Fauna and Rescue last week.