Australian Wildlife

  Bridled Nailtail Wallaby (Onychogalea fraenata)

Bridled Nailtail Wallaby | Onychogalea fraenata photo
Bridled Nail Tail Wallaby

Image by Joe Dave 5000 - License: Public Domain.    (view image details)


The Bridled Nailtail Wallaby is a pale grey-brown wallaby. It has a distinctive stripe from the neck down each side behind the forearm - the bridle marking. It has a horny pointed nail on the end of the tail.

Other Names
Pademelon, Merrin, Waistcoat Wallaby

head and body 51-70cm (male) 43-54cm (female). The tail is 40-50cm long

semi-arid areas where dense acacia shrubland and grassy woodland meet. They shelter in bushes and feed on grassy open wooded areas.

broad-leaved plants, succulents, grass and flowers

Bridled nailtail wallabies can have up to three young a year (one at a time). The gestation period is around 24 days and young stay in the pouch for about 120 days.

Its range has declined rapidly since European settlement. Once it was found from Victoria to tropical Queensland. It is now found in small area of central Queensland.

distribution map showing range of Onychogalea fraenata in Australia

Map is from Atlas of Living Australia website at https://biocache.ala.org.au licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Australia License

For over 30 years they were believed to be extinct as there had been no confirmed sightings of individuals since 1937. Then, in 1973, an article about Australia’s extinct species appeared in a magazine. After reading this article, a fencing contractor reported that there was a population of bridled nailtail wallabies on a property in central Queensland near the town of Dingo. This was confirmed by researchers from the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service and the property eventually became Taunton National Park (Scientific). New populations of the wallaby have been re-introduced to habitats it once occupied to aid recovery of the species. In 1996 bridled nailtails were introduced to Idalia National Park and in 2005 the population was estimated at over 300. Captive breeding enclosures have also been constructed on a large private property south of Emerald called Avocet. The property has been converted to a Nature Refuge and is now home to a third free ranging population of about 100 wallabies. (Note is from www.epa.qld.gov.au)

Conservation Status
The conservation status in the 2004 IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals is "endangered".

Common Name:Bridled Nailtail Wallaby