Outback MagazineOutback Magazine


Back by a whiskerBack by a whisker

The rare bridled nailtail wallaby, once thought to be extinct, is making a resurgence in Qld thanks to the efforts of private citizens, government and industry.

Story and photos Paula Heelan

After reading a Woman's Day magazine article in 1973 about the scarcity of the bridled nailtail wallaby, central Queensland fencing contractor Darryl Challacombe phoned the writer. "That bridled nailtail wallaby you've written about, it's not rare at all. I see them every day," he said. Zoologists checked out his claim and the bridled nailtail wallaby (Onychogalea fraenata) was suddenly back from presumed extinction.

But just by a whisker. The brigalow scrub area supporting the last remnants of the species was about to be bulldozed. Surveys of the district verified that the majority of the remnant populations occurred in the area of Daryl Challacombe's sighting. Despite extensive searches, no more individuals, let alone colonies of the wallaby were found. Story end

Full story Issue 32 Dec 2003/Jan 2004

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