The Black-footed Rock Wallaby (Petrogale lateralis), also commonly known as Warru (the name given by Traditional Owners of the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yunkuytjatjara lands of northern South Australia), is one of several rock-wallabies species in the genus Petrogale, family Macropodidae, a group of of marsupials commonly known as rock wallabies.
The Warru was once widespread throughout the ranges of Central Australia, and have been in a sad decline, primarily due to exotic predators like foxes and cats. In places like South Australia it is now classified as an endangered mammal.
In the MacDonnell Ranges they can still be seen in places like the eastern side of The Gap (Myer Hill, around Olive Pink Botanic Garden), Simpsons Gap, Palm Valley and Ormiston Gorge.
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 movement. When not moving, they blend almost perfectly into the rocky escarpment.
They are found living in the many rocky gorges, outcrops and escarpment throughout Australia, the caves and crevices provide them with shelter and protection from predators like the dingo and birds of prey.
The images here were taken at Ormiston Gorge, on a particularly hot day.
Images © Greg Sully
- Scientific classification
- Domain: Eukaryota
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Mammalia
- Infraclass: Marsupialia
- Order: Diprotodontia
- Family: Macropodidae
- Genus: Petrogale
- Species: P. lateralis
- Binomial name: Petrogale lateralis