Facts about Rufous Hare Wallaby. "Scientific name for Rufous Hare Wallaby is Lagorchestes hirsutus". Rufous Hare Wallabies are commonly found in the islands of Dorre and Bernier off the Western Australian coast. Despite the fact that the Rufous Hare Wallabies are found throughout the island, they are majorly spotted in the southern ends of both islands. There are small populations still present in the Tanami Desert but bush fires and red foxes have threatened their existence.
Habitat of Rufous Hare Wallabies
Rufous Hare Wallaby love the dry monsoon climate and some bit of semi-arid conditions and this explains why they were common in the Tanami desert. Their current habitats (the islands) have a warm and dry Mediterranean climate. The main habitats offered by the Bernier and Dorre islands are sand plains grasslands, travertine heath, unconsolidated dunes and sand plain heath. Rufous Hare Wallaby shelter in single opening burrows and scrapes.
Physical Description of Rufous Hare Wallaby
Although these hare wallabies resemble the hare to some extent, they have a structural resemblance to wallabies. This is especially noted in their hind legs which are larger than those of hares. The Rufous Hare Wallaby also have smaller forelimbs and thinner hunched bodies. They are bipedal and quadripedal hopping on their strong hind legs but occasionally maneuver on all fours. They have soft and thick fur. Their hindquarters and ventrum are buff colored while their heads and the backs are grey-rufous. Their ears are long and pointed while their eyes are relatively large and black.
The average weight of the female Rufous Hare Wallaby is 1.7 to 4.2 pounds (0.8 to 1.9 kg) and the weight of the male is 2.7 to 4 pounds (1.2 to 1.8 kg). The average female Rufous Hare Wallaby length is 14 to 15 11/32 inches (36 to 39 cm) and the average female tail length is 9 7/16 to 14 inches (24 to 30.5 cm) and the length of the male Rufous Hare Wallaby body is 12 1/4 to 14 inches (31 to 36 cm) and the tail length of the male is 10 1/4 to 11 inches (26 to 28 cm).
Breeding of Rufous Hare Wallaby
Rufous Hare Wallaby are generally solitary animals. They only meet during mating. There is often mate defense as several males often chase the same female. The Rufous Hare Wallaby are polygynous just like the other macropods. They exhibit embryonic diapause giving time for the joeys to leave the pouch while they also wait for favorable environmental conditions. The young ones are born after a short gestation period lasting about 30 days. The joeys then complete their development in the pouch which may range from 6- 9 months.
Feeding Behavior of Rufous Hare Wallaby
Rufous Hare Wallaby are both herbivorous and granivorous. They eat fruits, seeds, grasses succulent shrubs and sedges. They also have the capacity to alter their feeding habits in response to environmental changes.