The yellow-footed rock wallaby moves easily around mountaintops, jumping as far as 13 feet (four meters) from rock to rock and even scaling cliffs and climbing trees. In the hot Australian summers, the wallaby is active only at night, while in the winter it can sometimes be seen sunbathing on the rocks.
The yellow-footed rock wallaby has some of the brightest and most distinctive fur of all the wallabies and kangaroos. The wallaby’s fur varies in color and is usually a mixture of brown, gray, white, and yellow or orange. These colors are thought to provide camouflage among the surrounding rocks.
The yellow-footed rock wallaby eats mainly grasses, but in the dry season also feeds on whatever leaves fall from the trees and shrubs that grow in its rocky habitat. The wallaby can drink an impressive amount of water during the hot summers. They are able to drink more than 10 percent of their body weight within a few minutes.
A female wallaby can give birth throughout the year, typically having one baby at a time and carrying the baby in her pouch for a little over six months. After that time, the young wallaby will leave the pouch but continue to stay by its mother’s side for another week or so in case of danger. Over the next few months, the young animal will be mostly on its own, though continuing to rely on its mom for milk.
The population of yellow-footed rock wallabies has fallen in recent years, with less than 10,000 living in the wild today. The population decline is due in large part to the introduction of goats, sheep, and rabbits in the region. The new animals are able to traverse the wallaby’s precarious rocky habitat and compete for food and water. Recently introduced foxes also prey on the wallabies.