ON THE EDGE: A bridled nailtail wallaby.
ON THE EDGE: A bridled nailtail wallaby. Jaugusteynqld Govt

Wildlife officers pull out all stops for rare wallaby

A SMALL population of endangered bridled nailtail wallabies have been relocated from drought-stricken Idalia National Park before hotter El Nino conditions set in this summer in Queensland.

Queensland Parks and Wild-life Service and Department of Environment and Heritage Protection officers have taken seven wallabies to a captive breeding facility at Safehaven, Mount Larcom.

EHP acting director of threatened species Michael Devery said captive-bred wallabies were first released at the national park in 1994 to establish a second wild population of the critically endangered species.

"Bridled nailtails bred well there when conditions were right, but thekelihood that the population will survive in the wild on Idalia is now very poor," he said.

"The ongoing severe drought in western Queensland has had a devastating impact, with intensive surveys showing that Idalia's bridled nailtail numbers have dropped to about 20.

"Extraordinary measures to rescue this last introduced colony are now required."

Just one known wild population of bridled nailtail wallabies survives, at Taunton National Park west of Rockhampton.