Iconic wallaby back from the brink
An iconic Australian wallaby has made it back from the brink of extinction after a breeding program was launched to save the species.
The black-flanked rock wallaby was thought to have been extinct for decades until a group of rock climbers in Western Australia spotted a pair of the marsupials with their young in 2015.
The sighting prompted an immediate response by conservationists.
With funding from the World Wildlife Foundation, Australian scientists were able to breed 23 wallabies and release them back into Kalbarri National Park.
Anthony Desmond, the nature conservation leader at the Department of Parks and Wildlife said that the animals appeared to have assimilated well into their new habitats with all but one surviving.
“So to have 22 animals that we suspect are still alive - and we definitely know 10 of them are still alive - that’s a good outcome after this time period,” Desmond said.
The research team set up a network of motion sensing cameras in the gorge to capture rare footage of the typically shy wallabies.
The gorges in the Kalbarri National Park were once home to the largest population of the wallabies in the world.
Corin Desmond, Anthony’s son and a fellow member of the research team, said he hopes the public will one day be able to see the wallabies up close.
“I really hope that they get back to the original numbers and that people can just come down and see a rock wallaby hanging around at the bottom of a lookout,” he said.