Pademelon's
(Thylogale)

Ever wondered what those little runways through the thick understorey might be from? It may very well be the runways of the Pademelon. We must count ourselves very lucky to be living amongst these little critters, as they are not seen everywhere. They live in rainforest and wet sclerophyll forest with dense understorey.
In Northern Rivers area of NSW there are two kinds of Pademelon's, the more common Red- Necked Pademelon, and in the denser rainforest areas you may find the threatened species Red- Legged Pademelon.

The Red Neck Pademelon's is brown above, with reddish shoulders and a light coloured underbelly. Average size for an adult is 42 – 52cm. body length, with a tail 35 - 43cm long; weight is 3-4 kg for a female and up to 6 kg for a male with a home range varying from 5 - 30 hectares.

They are extremely shy little guys, venturing no more than 100 meters from the forest edge; they will run as soon as anything disturbs them, being so little everything is a perceived predator. They are also the watchdogs of the forest, as they will thump the ground in alarm with their back legs warning other creatures of approaching danger. I can only imagine that when a Python is involved, they hope to fool it as to their actual size by making vibrations in the ground like that of a large creature, and hopefully the snake might think that they are too big a meal for it to swallow. I often have this happen in the nursery pen when I have Pademelon's in care, the sound can be heard for quite some distance. I always investigate what is causing the Pademelon to do this, and in most cases it will be a python close by. Move the Python away a short distance, and once again all is quiet.

Maturity is reached at 17 months of age, although some females can reach maturity earlier.
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Breeding takes place all year round, with a peak in spring and autumn. Mortality rate is very high at the emerging stage of the joey; the many predators include foxes, pythons, birds of prey, as well as domestic dogs, and motor vehicles which account for many deaths.

The Pademelon feeds on the fallen leaves of rainforest trees, native ferns, berries and fruits. It also eats grass, a favorite being ”Pademelon” grass often seen in our local forest, a small leafed creeping grass.

Speaking about cars, it is often said to me when I ask people did they check the pouch of a dead marsupial found on the road. “No, the animal was smelly, as it had been dead for a while” This does not mean that the possible joey in the pouch is also dead at this stage. Joey's can in fact survive for days in the pouch of a dead mother. I will recount a story told by a motorist that brought me a very smelly little Joey.

He had stopped on the highway to check a wallaby, but when he opened the car door the smell was over powering, so he got back in his car. He looked again and noticed a little leg coming out of the pouch. Sure enough the joey was alive, although very dehydrated and in need of medical attention, it survived and was later released. So do check, even if you think it is too late, it may not be.

The same goes for possums and any marsupials, including Bandicoots.

Some time ago the Village Journal ran a story from a 100 years ago, recounting the lovely weekend everyone had on the local Pademelon hunt where over 100 animals had been killed. It was at that time considered sport to hunt Pademelon's, maybe that is part of the reason we see them so rarely these days. Another reason is land clearing, loss of habitat, as they require dense under story to survive.

Dog attacks are common, so if you live in the bush, make sure you know where your dog is at night. It would welcome living inside at night, and our wildlife being nocturnal, would equally welcome being able to feed safely. Once again I would like to remind everyone that a dog does not need to catch or attack a wallaby to do damage, as the chase is enough, because wallabies develop a condition called Myopathy, which is fatal causing the animal to die slowly in great pain, silently and out of sight.

 

Red-Necked Pademelon

 

Female Pademelon after mating
 

 

Red-Legged Pademelon

Thylogale stigmatica

Threathened species

 

   

 

 

Drivers should be always be aware of wildlife along highways and rural roads. Title Max encourages drivers to keep safety on their minds at all times. Safeguarding wildlife, as well as your own Title Max vehicle, is every driver's responsibility.

 

 
 
 

©Wildlife Mountain 2000 - 2017

 

We would also like to acknowledge the amazing support and help we have had from the Lismore Vet Clinic who have been an invaluable support to both us and the native wildlife of this region.


All native birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles are proteced under the Wildlife Act 1975, they may not be captured or harmed in any way without an authority issued under the Wildlife Act.