Also known as the Red Bellied Pademelon or Rufous Wallaby
There are two other species of Pademelon found in Australia that being the red legged Pademelon and the red necked Pademelon, both of which are found in Queensland
The name Pademelon came from the first Euorpean setlers who thought they saw a "PADdock full of MELONs"
The most unique aspect of this animal, which is easily observed, is the "runways" (cleared tracks) the pademelons make in the ground vegetation
They are a nocturnal animal sleeping by day in the undergrowth and coming out at night to graze in clearings.
They are fairly solitary and territorial, though a number have been observed feeding close together
A stocky looking small wallaby sized mammal the male is bigger than the female (8kg Vs 4kg on average). They have a short tail and short legs in comparisism to wallabies and kangaroos
The Pademelons distinctive fur covered round ears are a good way of identifying them.
Their fur ranges from dark brown to Grey, with a red to brown coloured belly
LOCATION & HABITAT
These pademelons are only found in Tasmania.
They need dense undergrowth to sleep in during the day and access to clearings for grazing in the night.
These areas include rainforests, costal scrub wet forrest gullies, etc
The Tasmanian Pademelon grazes on low growing plants like grasses,
some shrubs and their leaves, green shoots, herbs and seedlings
Pademelons can breed all year round but most births occur in autumn
(April to June)
One young only is born at a time. After a one month gestation period the young stays in the pouch for a further 6 months
and is weaned after a further 4 months.
In the wild they have a life span of around 4 to 6 years.
PREDATORS & STATUS
It is believed the main reason there are no red bellied Pademelons left on the mainland of Australia is due to them being hunted by introduced foxes (and the clearing of land by man)
On the island of Tasmania they are still hunted by Tasmanian Devils, Eagles and spotted Quolls. There are though no foxes in Tasmania
The Tasmanian Pademelon is fairly abundant in Tasmania.