Alice Springs Fauna •

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There are various locations in the Red Centre where visitors may increase the opportunity to catch a glimpse of the Black-footed Rock Wallaby (Petrogale lateralis centralis), also known locally as Warru.

The Black-footed Rock Wallaby was not so long ago, recognised as a distinct species, changing its classification from Petrogale lateralis subsp. (MacDonnell Ranges) to Petrogale lateralis centralis.

Commonly known as rock wallabies, they can be elusive marsupials, especially blending in with the rocky escarpment. The keen observer can sometimes spot them being perfectly still resting up high, on rocky ledges or even moving around up on the ranges. On occasion they move down to the ground to forage and for water. Places where they have been sighted include Finke Gorge National Park, Ormiston Gorge and Simpsons Gap.

In Alice Springs they have been sighted at Olive Pink Botanic Garden, both up on the hills and within the garden grounds. The East MacDonnell Ranges that head east from Heavitree Gap is another place where they have been sighted.

Please do not feed them, as they are wild animals and anything you give them may not be suitable for their metabolism causing harm.

Rock Wallabies are no taller than half a metre, and it is their agility and speed as they travel across seemingly sheer cliff faces that amazes many people who are lucky to catch a glimpse of them in motion. When not moving, they blend almost perfectly into the rocky escarpment.

Check out our Fauna section about the Black-footed Rock Wallaby (Petrogale lateralis) and  Kangaroo, Wallaroo, Euro, Wallaby.


  • Scientific classification
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Subphylum: Vertebrata
  • Informal: Gnathostomata
  • Class: Mammalia
  • Subclass: Marsupialia
  • Order: Diprotodontia
  • Suborder: Phalangerida
  • Superfamily: Macropodoidea
  • Family: Macropodidae
  • Genus: Petrogale
  • Species: Petrogale lateralis
  • Subspecies:
    • Petrogale lateralis centralis
    • Petrogale lateralis centralis Eldridge & Potter, 2020

Footnote & References

  1. Over 40 years in the making: the two new subspecies of Rock-wallabies, Authors Dr Mark Edlridge, Dr Sally Potter, 10 February 2020, Australian Museum, https://australian.museum/blog/amri-news/two-new-subspecies-of-rock-wallabies/
  2. Petrogale lateralis centralis — Warru, Central Australian Rock-wallaby, Australian Government, http://www.environment.gov.au/cgi-bin/sprat/public/publicspecies.pl?taxon_id=66649#:~:text=Petrogale%20lateralis%20lateralis%20or%20the,which%20occurs%20in%20central%20Australia
  3. Black-footed rock-wallaby (central Australian), Petrogale lateralis centralis, Threatened species of the Northern Territory, https://nt.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/376122/black-footed-rock-wallaby.pdf
  4. The Wildlife of Alice Springs – Australia’s Desert Heart, Quolling Around – Australian Wildlife and Bushwalking, 19 October 2021, https://quollingaround.com/2021/10/19/the-wildlife-of-alice-springs-australias-desert-heart/

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