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5 important tips when looking for Pademelons

11 May 2011 2 Comments

Pademelon - Cradle Mountain National ParkWhen is a pademelon not a pademelon? When it’s a rufous wallaby, of course!

Actually, pademelon is the aboriginal name for the rufous wallaby. If you want to get truly technical, the Latin name is Thylogale billardierrii. Try saying that five times while on your next hike!

1. If you want to spot a pademelon, you’ll need to look very carefully… at night.

Pademelons are nocturnal; it’s the safest time for them to graze on the moss and grasses that they prefer. Night time provides the best cover against the hunting of Tasmanian devils, spotted quolls and the wedge-tailed eagle.

2. If you think you’ve seen a dark rock, look again. It could be a pademelon!

The pademelon is a very stocky animal with fairly short tail and legs. These allow it to move through the dense Tasmanian vegetation much easier.

The Tasmanian pademelon is either dark brown or grey brown with a red-brown fur in its belly.

3. Choose a walk through the rainforests of Tasmania and you should be able to spot a pademelon.

While the animals do prefer to live in the rainforests and wet forests of Tasmania, they are also known to live in the wet gullies of a dry eucalypt forest.

4. Go at dusk – it’s feeding time!

Habitats near cleared areas are also preferred for feeding, but they won’t wander more than 100m from the safety of the forest edge.

5. Pademelons are solitary animals. So when you’re out looking with your torch, look for a single animal as they don’t travel in mobs.

The male is the larger of the species, reaching such sizes of 1-1.2m in length and can weigh about 12kg. The female is much smaller, reaching only the very modest 3.9kg in weight!

If you’re very lucky, you might get a glimpse of a young one in the pouch. The young stay in the pouch for about 6.5 months, but stay near mum for another couple of months after that.

Image: B1SHOP via Flickr

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  • Leigh said:

    So now I don’t know if I saw a rufous wallaby or a pademelon. It actually sounds more like a fruit than an animal.Is it ever cute too.

  • Frank (author) said:

    Nah Leigh it is definitely a Pademelon. They are very common in the Park and everyone gets to see one! Yep, cute for sure.

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