A nightly occurrence, my neighbour’s paddock is invaded by Bennetts Wallabies and smaller Padymelons around dusk. I’ve counted over 80 of them at times. These images were taken out of my kitchen window in the fading light, showing two male Bennetts trading blows. They fought for about 30 minutes.
When we moved in about 25 years ago, the grass in the paddock was up to our waist. In the first 10 years, my old mate Buddy “the Wonder-dog” only ever flushed one wallaby out of the bush in the next valley over. One, the only wallaby I ever saw!
In the last ten years the population has exploded. Now everywhere looks like a golf green .. when it’s green. They also eat any ferns they can reach down in the creekbeds and any low level new growth doesn’t stand a chance – unless it’s a weed like fox-glove.
The only thing I can put this resurgence down to is the strict Australian gun-laws introduced in the late ’90 and the subsequent reduction in firearm ownership and casual hunting. (I’m not saying that’s a bad thing). Young one’s may get killed by Wedge-tailed eagles, feral cats and perhaps quolls but aside from humans, cars – and the odd loose dog, wallabies now have no natural predators in Tasmania.
Before European’s intervened, wallabies were hunted by the indigenous people for food and possibly Tasmanian Tigers (Thylacine), though it’s thought they were more scavenger than hunter. While farmers can still “control” wallaby with registered firearms, that doesn’t happen in the bush and edge suburbs around Hobart where I live. I guess the wallaby population will eventually be contained by the amount of available food and starvation, unless we intervene to control them again. There appears to me to be a real imbalance in the ecosystem at present.