Biodiversity

Species Profile and Threats Database


For information to assist proponents in referral, environmental assessments and compliance issues, refer to the Policy Statements and Guidelines (where available), the Conservation Advice (where available) or the Listing Advice (where available).
 
In addition, proponents and land managers should refer to the Recovery Plan (where available) or the Conservation Advice (where available) for recovery, mitigation and conservation information.

EPBC Act Listing Status Listed as Endangered
Recovery Plan Decision Recovery Plan required, this species had a recovery plan in force at the time the legislation provided for the Minister to decide whether or not to have a recovery plan (19/2/2007).
 
Adopted/Made Recovery Plans National Recovery plan for the Bridled nailtail wallaby (Onychogalea fraenata) (State of Queensland, Environmental Protection Agency, 2006) [Recovery Plan].
 
Other EPBC Act Plans Threat Abatement Plan for predation by feral cats (Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA), 2008zzp) [Threat Abatement Plan].
 
Threat Abatement Plan for Predation by the European Red Fox (Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA), 2008zzq) [Threat Abatement Plan].
 
Policy Statements and Guidelines Survey guidelines for Australia's threatened mammals. EPBC Act survey guidelines 6.5 (Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPaC), 2011j) [Admin Guideline].
 
Federal Register of
    Legislative Instruments
Declaration under s178, s181, and s183 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 - List of threatened species, List of threatened ecological communities and List of threatening processes (Commonwealth of Australia, 2000) [Legislative Instrument].
 
State Government
    Documents and Websites
QLD:Bridled nailtail wallaby (Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (DEHP), 2013f) [Database].
VIC:Flora and Fauna Guarantee Action Statement 14 - Extinct Mammals 2 (Mansergh, I. & J. Seebeck, 2003) [State Action Plan].
Non-government
    Documents and Websites
The action plan for threatened Australian macropods 2011-2021 (World Wildlife Fund for Nature - Australia (WWF), 2011).
State Listing Status
NSW: Listed as Extinct (Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 (New South Wales): August 2014 list)
QLD: Listed as Endangered (Nature Conservation Act 1992 (Queensland): May 2014 list)
VIC: Listed as Threatened (Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 (Victoria): May 2014 list)
Non-statutory Listing Status
IUCN: Listed as Endangered (Global Status: IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: 2013.1 list)
VIC: Listed as Regionally Extinct (Advisory List of Threatened Vertebrate Fauna in Victoria: 2013 list)
Scientific name Onychogalea fraenata [239]
Family Macropodidae:Diprotodonta:Mammalia:Chordata:Animalia
Species author (Gould,1841)
Infraspecies author  
Reference  
Distribution map Species Distribution Map

This is an indicative distribution map of the present distribution of the species based on best available knowledge. See map caveat for more information.

Illustrations Google Images

Scientific name: Onychogalea fraenata

Common name: Bridled Nail-tail Wallaby

The Bridled Nail-tail Wallaby is a highly solitary, medium-sized macropod; up to 1 m tall and weighing up to 8 kg (males). The species has distinctive markings of a white 'bridle' line running from the centre of the neck, along the shoulder to behind the forearm on each side of the body. A black stripe runs the length of the body, and white cheek stripes are present on both sides of the head. A horny 'nail' occurs at the tip of the tail, is between 3—6mm and is partly concealed by hair (Evans 1992 cited in Lundie-Jenkins 2001).

The species has a high level of sexual dimorphism and males may be up to twice as large as females (Sigg & Goldizen 2006).

The Bridled Nail-tail Wallaby is confined to Taunton National Park (Scientific) (an area of 11 000 ha) near the town of Dingo with some sightings within 10 km of the park (Davidson 1991; Lundie-Jenkins 2001). Population genetics and radio-tracking studies have shown that the populations at different localities within Taunton National Park (Scientific) are not isolated, but connected through frequent juvenile dispersal (Fisher 1999a). One reintroduced population is confined to a smaller section of Idalia National Park in Western Queensland (Pople et al. 2001), and another exists at Avocet Nature Refuge near Emerald, in Central Queensland (Lundie-Jenkins & Lowry 2005). Another population has been re-introduced at Scotia Sanctuary (64 000 ha), 150 km south of Broken Hill (Finlayson et al. 2008).

There was a captive population of the Bridled Nail-tail Wallaby at Pallarenda near Townsville between 1991 and 2004. There is currently a captive population at David Fleay Wildlife Park in Queensland (Johnson 1997; Lundie-Jenkins & Lowry 2005), and at Western Plains Zoo, Taronga Zoo, Scotia Sanctuary, and Genaren Hill Sanctuary in New South Wales (Lundie-Jenkins 2001; Lundie-Jenkins & Lowry 2005).

At the time of European settlement, Bridled Nail-tail Wallabies were abundant in eastern Australia to the west of the Great Dividing Range. Reports by naturalists Gilbert (reported in Gould 1863), Gould (1863)and Collet (1887 cited in Gordon and Lawrie 1980) indicate that in the mid-nineteenth century, the species ranged from the Murray River region of north-western Victoria (possibly into eastern South Australia), through central New South Wales, and north to Charters Towers in Queensland (Evans & Gordon 1995). The species' range declined dramatically around 1900, and there were no confirmed sightings reported during the period 1937—1973 (Lundie-Jenkins 2001). However, the Bridled Nail-tail Wallaby was said to occur 50 km outside Tambo (in central Queensland) in a letter to David Fleay by J.K. Wilson in 1963 (Lavery & Tierney 1985). Onychogalea fraenata was rediscovered near Dingo, Queensland, in 1973, and confirmed to be present on the adjacent properties of Taunton and Red Hill, and a few neighbouring properties within a 10 km radius (Gordon & Lawrie 1980).

Intensive, regular surveys for the Bridled Nail-tail Wallaby are carried out at Taunton National Park (Scientific) and the surrounding region, and Idalia National Park (Fisher et al. 2001; Lundie-Jenkins 2001; Pople et al. 2001). The category 'National Park (Scientific)' designates a conservation reserve containing a wild population and not open to the general public.

The total population of Bridled Nail-tail Wallabies varies from year to year, depending on rainfall. It is currently likely to be between 600—1900 (Horsup & Evans 1993; Fisher et al. 2000; Pople et al. 2001). The best habitat at Taunton National Park (Scientific) supported a mean density of 12—32 Bridled Nail-tail Wallabies per km² in the mid to late 1990s (Fisher et al. 2001). In 2001 approximately half of the population occured at Taunton National Park (Scientific) and half at Idalia National Park (Fisher et al. 2001; Lundie-Jenkins 2001; Pople et al. 2001).

The total population of Bridled Nail-tail Wallabies was estimated to be 1200—1500 in 1991 (Horsup & Evans 1993). The population was considered to have declined markedly during a prolonged drought in the early 1990s (Fisher et al. 2000) and was estimated to be 400—500 in March 1994 (Fisher 1998). Between 1994—1997 the rate of population increase was estimated to be 28% per year. The reintroduced population at Idalia National Park in western Queensland was also estimated to be increasing at a rate of 37—43% per year, and numbered around 400 in late 1999 (Pople et al. 2001).

All four free-living populations of the Bridled Nailtail Wallaby are considered to be important; in 2001 approximately half of the population occurred at Taunton National Park (Scientific) and half at Idalia National Park (Fisher et al. 2001; Pople et al. 2001; Lundie-Jenkins 2001).

All four wild populations of the Bridled Nail-tail Wallaby are in reserve systems; Taunton National Park (Scientific), Idalia National Park, Scotia Sanctuary, and Avocet Nature Refuge (Finlayson et al. 2008; Lundie-Jenkins & Lowry 2005).

In 1996, 133 Bridled Nail-tail Wallabies were reintroduced to Idalia National Park in western Queensland from captive bred and wild stock, and this population had quadrupled by 1999 and was increasing in range. Survival estimates for wild-born recruits suggest that the population will continue to increase under conditions of high rainfall and continued predator control (Pople et al. 2001). However, it is likely to decline during droughts (Fisher et al. 2001). Modelling suggests that even low predation rates could have a significant detrimental effect on translocated populations of the Bridled Nail-tail Wallaby when their numbers are low (McCallum 1995; McCallum et al. 1995). Bridled Nail-tail Wallabies were translocated to Avocet Nature Refuge (which is adjacent to suitable habitat on Goonderoo, a property owned by the Australian Bush Heritage Trust) between 2001 and 2005. Between November 2004 and September 2005, 161 captive-bred Bridled Nailtail Wallabies were re-introduced to Scotia Sanctuary (Finlayson et al. 2008).

Current Distribution

The Bridled Nail-tail Wallaby occurs in woodland, particularly in Brigalow (Acacia harpophylla) scrub, preferring areas with the most fertile soil (Lundie-Jenkins 2001). During the day (when they are resting), Bridled Nail-tail Wallabies prefer habitat that consists of young Brigalow regrowth or contains fallen logs (Evans 1996). They shelter beneath shrubs, in large grass tussocks, and inside hollow logs. Adults prefer logs where available (Fisher & Goldizen 2001) but also used grass shelters as the biomass of grass increases after a drought, enabling them to shelter closer to feeding areas. They generally choose shelter sites with the densest cover of foliage and stems at Bridled Nail-tail Wallaby height (25—50 cm), and this type of shelter is concentrated at the edges of wooded areas such as Brigalow regrowth (Fisher 2000). At night (when they are feeding), they prefer the ecotone habitat containing both pasture and young Brigalow regrowth (Evans 1996). When feeding in open pasture, they prefer to stay close to the edge of shelter habitat (Evans 1996).

On the north western section of Taunton National Park (Scientific), the Bridled Nail-tail Wallaby is found in all four of the major vegetation types; open grassy eucalypt woodland dominated by Poplar Box (Eucalyptus populnea), dense Acacia forest dominated by Brigalow, transitional vegetation intermediate between the woodland and forest, and in areas of very dense Brigalow regrowth (Tierney 1985). After clearing, Brigalow grows back from root stock, forming dense thickets. Older Brigalow regrowth has sparse foliage in the 0—1 m height range, but has a closed canopy above this height. Younger regrowth forms patches of small dense bushes, obscuring visibility below 1 m. At Idalia National Park, reintroduced Bridled Nail-tail Wallabies use open woodland as well as Brigalow regrowth, and also use Wilga bushes (Geijera parviflora) as shelter habitat (Veldman 1998 cited in Pople et al. 2001).

Bridled Nail-tail Wallabies prefer vegetation edges: in the mid 1980s, they were most likely to occur in a narrow band of vegetation at the interface between dense Acacia scrub and open grassy eucalypt woodland in the north west of the Park (Tierney 1985). In the mid 1990s when the Brigalow regrowth in the north east of the Park had reached 2—3 m in height, they preferred the area where Brigalow regrowth abuts pasture there, and the area where rosewood (Acacia rhodoxylon) and Eucalypt woodland borders open alluvial flats in the centre of the Park. In both areas, the feeding ranges of many wallabies are concentrated at former cattle yards, where food is plentiful due to the fertile soil (Fisher 2000).

Historic Distribution

The Bridled Nail-tail Wallaby previously occupied Acacia shrubland and grassy woodland on the western slopes of the Great Dividing Range and based on the surveys of the Dingo region, Gordon & Lawrie (1980) concluded that Bridled Nail-tail Wallabies had a preference for Brigalow (Acacia harpophylla) woodland and the larger alluvial flats, which are the more fertile areas. In semi-arid regions of eastern Australia. Gould (1863) reported that "It inhabits all the low mountain ranges, the elevation of which varies from one to six hundred feet, and which are of a sterile character - hot, dry, stony and thickly covered with shrub like stunted trees". Other historical comments (Collett 1877; Krefft 1866) on the species' habitat preference associate the Bridled Nail-tail Wallaby with unspecified scrub types (as cited in Gordon & Lawrie 1980; Maxwell et al. 1996).

In captivity, sexual maturity is reached at 136—277 days in female Bridled Nail-tail Wallabies, and 270—419 days in males (Johnson 1997). However, males in the wild do not usually gain access to females to breed until they are around two years old (Fisher & Lara 1999; Sigg et al. 2005). Average life expectancy in the wild (based on population projection data) is around six years (Fisher et al. 2001). Average survival of juveniles once they leave the mother's pouch is 47% (with a 95% confidence interval of 14—100%), and average adult survival is 80% per year (with a 95% confidence interval of 64 - 97%). Average survival in the reintroduced population was estimated to be 71% per year (with a 95% confidence interval of 57—82%; Pople et al. 2001).

Bridled Nail-tail Wallabies breed all year round. Females conceive while they have a joey in the pouch, and the timing of development is such that the next young is born the day after the previous one leaves the pouch permanently (Fisher & Goldizen 2001; Johnson 1997). Survival of young in the pouch is under 20% during drought, and close to 90% when pasture conditions are good (Fisher et al. 2001). The condition of juveniles after they leave the pouch is also correlated with maternal condition (weight relative to body size), and young in worse condition are less likely to survive (Fisher 1999b).

Males that weigh more than 5600—5800 g are much more likely to father offspring than smaller males, because males compete physically to gain access to sexually receptive females. Males with larger home ranges also father more offspring (Fisher & Lara 1999; Sigg et al. 2005).

Bridled Nail-tail Wallabies require areas of low, dense ground cover that is close to pasture to breed successfully. After young leave the pouch permanently at around 17 weeks old, juvenile Bridled Nail-tail Wallabies do not follow their mothers as larger kangaroos do. Rather, they spend the day concealed in dense cover, generally at the edge of a feeding area that is more than 200 m away from their mothers' daytime shelter. Juveniles are alone in more than half of all observations at night, and are much more likely than adults to lie flat on the ground if approached. Mothers return to hiding juveniles periodically to suckle them, especially at dusk and dawn. Mothers of juveniles of this age reduce their home ranges, stay closer to vegetation cover than other females do, are more likely to stay in the Brigalow regrowth, and are more wary. Juveniles often lie in a small depression that they scrape in the dirt, so that their backs are flush with ground level and they are camouflaged. At Taunton National Park (Scientific), Bridled Nail-tail Wallabies hide most often under low foliage of Yellowwood (Terminalia oblongata), Brigalow, and particularly Currant Bush (Carissa ovata), which is preferred in relation to its abundance in the habitat. They also utilise hollow logs, and have been known to shelter under grass clumps, fallen timber or tree roots. Juveniles use smaller shelters than adults do (mean width 1.8 m, and mean height 1.5 m), are more likely to use Currant Bush and less likely to use hollow logs (Fisher & Goldizen 2001).

A study at Taunton National Park (Scientific) found the diet of the Bridled Nail-tail Wallaby to be diverse, including herbaceous species (forbs), grasses and shrubs. Proportions of these different plant groups varied with season and availability. Bridled Nail-tail Wallabies prefer other foods to grass species in all seasons, particularly during the dry winter. At this time forbs (mostly chenopods) became the major dietary component, and feeding selectivity was high for the relatively rare food items such as sedges. There was strong selection for sedges during spring, when food resources were at their lowest abundance. They showed a preference for food items of relatively high nutritional value (leaf and reproductive parts such as seedheads) and selection against items of relatively high fibre content (grass stem and sheath). They also appeared to prefer younger stages of growth (which have less fibre) (Evans & Jarman 1999).

In droughts, very little food grows in the Brigalow regrowth and woodlands, and Bridled Nail-tail Wallabies must feed in the open, leaving them potentially vulnerable to predators such as the Dingo (Canis lupus dingo) and the Cat (Felis catus). However in times of higher rainfall, food grows in the sheltered habitats and they increasingly feed under cover, avoiding open areas (Fisher 2000).

Bridled Nail-tail Wallabies are generally faithful to their home ranges and particular shelter sites, and are not mobile, although the size of home ranges changes depending on environmental conditions (Fisher 2000).

At Taunton National Park (Scientific), home ranges of males (65.6 ± 13.3 ha) are considerably larger than those of females (23.3 ± 2.9 ha) and ranges tended to vary in size inversely with the availability of preferred food, being larger in drought times (Fisher 2000). The home ranges of both sexes overlap extensively. A radiotracking and spotlighting study found that home ranges of males overlapped with those of 4—21 females, and those males which overlapped with more females were observed to associate more often with sexually receptive females, but larger males did not necessarily have larger home ranges (Fisher & Lara 1999).

Home ranges have two core areas, a nocturnal feeding area which is located at the border of pasture and shelter vegetation, and a diurnal resting core area, located mainly within wooded habitat such as Brigalow scrub, other Acacia forest or poplar box woodland, depending on where it is within the Park (Evans 1996; Fisher 2000). Daytime home range sizes were correlated with grass biomass and were larger at the site with a lower population density and less shelter (Fisher 2000). Home ranges at Idalia National Park are very similar to those at Taunton National Park (Scientific). At Idalia, home ranges were larger in open woodland than in Brigalow regrowth (Veldman 1998 cited in Pople et al. 2001).

The Survey guidelines for Australia's threatened mammals (DSEWPaC 2011j) includes survey design principles when planning a mammal survey and includes recommendations for survey methods for the Bridled Nail-tail Wallaby and habitat that it occurs in (DSEWPaC 2011j). The following information is additional to the guidelines.

Distinctiveness

Bridled Nail-tail Wallabies have a distinctive 'bridle' of white around the shoulder blades, which begins as a white stripe bordered by black at the back of the neck. This is often visible during spotlighting. The end of the tail is black and has a small crest of hair covering the claw-like nail. The tail is held stiff in an inverted 'U' shape with the tip pointing up while hopping. The Bridled Nail-tail Wallaby hops with its head held low and its arms held outwards (Evans 1992 cited in Lundie-Jenkins 2001; Fisher 1999). Juveniles often freeze and lie flat on the ground when approached, and are then very difficult to see (Fisher & Goldizen 2001).

The droppings of the Bridled Nail-tail Wallaby are more cylindrical than those of the Black-striped Wallaby (Macropus dorsalis), which is common in the same habitat within Taunton National Park (Scientific) and at Idalia National Park (Evans & Jarman 1999; Fisher 2000). Black-striped Wallabies are also more likely to occur in groups, and are usually larger than Bridled Nail-tail Wallabies (Fisher 1999; Fisher et al. 2001; Lundie-Jenkins 2001).

Methods

Before beginning a survey to detect the Bridled Nail-tail Wallaby, daytime searches can be used to find potentially suitable habitat, such as open eucalypt forest adjacent to woodland and Brigalow scrub. Searches of areas up to 5 ha should be along transects spaced at 50—100 m intervals. The placement of transects should be planned in advance using aerial photographs and maps. As a guide, for every 1 ha surveyed, at least two hours should be spent searching for potential habitat and signs of activity (AMBS 2004).

The Bridled Nail-tail Wallaby can then be surveyed using daytime searches for droppings and scrapes (places where wallabies have scraped away leaf litter to expose the bare ground where they have been sheltering, usually under small trees or shrubs). The shape and size of the droppings are characteristic, and can be used to confirm the presence of Bridled Nail-tail Wallabies, as can the hair, which is readily collected on double-sided sticky tape at the entrance of hollow logs likely to be used as daytime shelters (Fisher 2000). Searching during the day often results in any Bridled Nail-tail Wallabies present being flushed from their shelters. This may expose them to predators. Therefore, daytime searches should not be conducted at times when predators such as Wedge-tailed Eagles (Aquila audax) are in the immediate vicinity (AMBS 2004).

Daytime transect surveys can be used to detect Bridled Nail-tail Wallabies while they are resting. However, they are much easier to detect and identify when they are active (Fisher et al. 2000). The appropriate distance between transects depends on the sighting distance, and is often 100 m or less in Brigalow scrub habitat (Fisher 1999; Fisher et al. 2000). Surveys conducted on foot should be conducted at around 10 m per minute. Each 1 ha area requires at least one 100 m transect (two if the observers view is obstructed) in at least four survey sites (AMBS 2004).

A detailed study of the management value, assumptions and biases of different methods of population surveys for Bridled Nail-tail Wallabies found that line-transect estimation is the most appropriate technique for long term monitoring. Surveys involve driving a vehicle with a tray back at 10 km per hour along tracks at night, preferably near dusk and in conditions of little wind. Two people spotlight by standing on the back of the vehicle, one person searching each side. At Taunton National Park (Scientific), all tracks (106.5 km) are traversed over two consecutive nights (Lundie-Jenkins 2001).

Spotlight surveys designed to detect populations of Bridled Nail-tail Wallabies outside of the National Park should concentrate on the edge of potential shelter vegetation and adjacent pasture. Providing Lucerne (Medicago sativa) in these places during the days before surveys may be useful (Fisher 1999; Fisher et al. 2001). These surveys should use a hand-held 50 or 75 W spotlight, and travel along at least two 1000 m transects in each 5 ha site, maintaining an interval of at least 100 m between the transects. Surveys should be repeated on two separate nights. If observers see a wallaby, the vehicle engine should be turned off so that they can check its identity using binoculars (Fisher 1999; DEH 2004).

Reasons suggested for the decline of the Bridled Nail-tail Wallaby include competition with domestic herbivores (notably sheep), habitat alteration, and predation by introduced predators, especially the Fox (Vulpes vulpes). However the speed and scale of the decline makes it difficult to identify any one predominant causal factor (Lundie-Jenkins 2001). There is strong evidence to support the hypothesis that the introduction of domestic grazing, especially sheep, is the major cause of decline of the species (Gordon & Lawrie 1980; Lundie-Jenkins 2001). Clearing of native vegetation for agriculture and stock probably also played a role in the decline (Lundie-Jenkins 2001). Bridled Nail-tail Wallabies were also killed in large numbers by pastoralists in the early 1900s (Hrdina 1997; Longman 1930).

Habitat Change

Habitat change may still be a threat to Bridled Nail-tail Wallabies as they prefer Brigalow vegetation up to a certain age, beyond which it ceases to provide dense foliage at the preferred height for daytime shelter. The area within Taunton National Park (Scientific) where most wallabies concentrate has changed since the Park was gazetted, because of age-related changes in vegetation structure (Evans 1996; Fisher 2000). Bridled Nail-tail Wallabies also use hollow logs as shelter, so they require trees of the appropriate age to provide large enough hollow logs (2.59 ± 0.21 m wide) (Fisher & Goldizen 2001).

Predation

Predation by the Cat (Felis catus) is the main cause of death of juvenile Bridled Nail-tail Wallabies 17—25 weeks old (800—1800 g) especially during droughts when ground-level vegetation cover is sparse (Fisher & Goldizen 2001; Horsup & Evans 1993). Fisher and Goldizen (2001) found that four out of six deaths of juveniles were caused by Cat predation, and three out of the four deaths attributable to Cat predation occurred late in the dry season, during drought. Modelling showed that this level of juvenile mortality was enough to cause a population decline (Fisher et al 2001). Young Bridled Nail-tail Wallabies are apparently particularly vulnerable to predators in the open because their initial response to danger is to flatten themselves against the ground and lie still, and because they rely on grass and other vegetation (as shelter) that is degraded during droughts (Fisher & Goldizen 2001; Fisher et al. 2001; Horsup & Evans 1993). Cats also potentially threaten the survival of Bridled Nail-tail Wallabies of all ages because they are the definitive hosts of the damaging blood parasite, Toxoplasma. In 1996, 15% of Bridled Nail-tail Wallabies at Taunton National Park (Scientific) had antibodies for Toxoplasma (Turni & Smales 2001). Toxoplasma can cause death in macropods, but its impact on population dynamics of the Bridled Nail-tail Wallaby is unknown (Fisher 1999a; Speare et al. 1989).

The Dingo is both a threat and a potential benefit to Bridled Nail-tail Wallabies, depending on their density and distribution within the area. High densities of Dingoes at the localised sites where most Bridled Nail-tail Wallabies is likely to be detrimental. Half of all deaths of adults in the period 1994—1997 resulted from predation by Dingoes, and population projection modelling showed that the rate of recovery after drought was most sensitive to adult female survival (Fisher et al. 2000, 2001). Dingoes may also threaten the survival of Bridled Nail-tail Wallabies because they are hosts of the parasite, hydatid tapeworm (Echinococcus granulosus). In 1996, 21% of Bridled Nail-tail Wallabies at Taunton National Park (Scientific) had antibodies for hydatids (Turni & Smales 2001). Hydatids can cause death in macropods, but their impact on population dynamics of the Bridled Nailtail Wallaby is unknown (Fisher 1999a; Speare et al. 1989). Conversely, Dingoes elsewhere in the region are probably beneficial because they are likely to suppress Foxes (Fisher et al. 2000). The absence of Foxes is probably an important reason why Bridled Nail-tail Wallabies persisted at Taunton National Park (Scientific), but became extinct elsewhere in their former range (Fisher et al. 2000, 2001; Lundie-Jenkins 2001).

Disease

The bacterial disease lumpy-jaw was a cause of death affecting some Bridled Nail-tail Wallabies released at Idalia National Park as part of a reintroduction programme, and Bridled Nail-tails that showed symptoms of this disease were more than twice as likely to die (Pople et al. 2001). Fisher and colleagues (2001) found that at Taunton National Park (Scientific), adults with larger numbers of parasitic lice were more likely to die. However, lice appeared to be a symptom of old age and poor condition, not a direct cause of death.

Drought

Drought is an inevitable threat to the survival of Bridled Nail-tail Wallabies. Population density estimates suggest a decrease of around 15% per year at Taunton between 1991—1995, resulting in a halving of the population during this period of severe drought. They can potentially recover rapidly when conditions improve because of their short generation length (Fisher & Goldizen 2001), but the rate of population growth is highly variable, so the risk of local extinction (which would mean extinction for the free-living populations in the wild) from long droughts is highly significant (Fisher et al. 2001).

Competition

Bridled Nail-tail Wallabies appear to be more selective in their diet than sympatric Black-striped Wallabies (Macropus dorsalis) (Dawson et al. 1992; Ellis et al. 1992; Evans & Jarman 1999), suggesting that should competition occur, Bridled Nail-tail Wallabies are likely to suffer more than Black-striped Wallabies (Evans & Jarman 1999). The average density of Black-striped Wallabies is more than seven times as high as that of Bridled Nail-tail Wallabies at Taunton National Park (Scientific) (Lundie-Jenkins et al. 1998, as cited in Fisher et al. 2001). Because Black-striped Wallabies are prey of Dingoes, they could also maintain Dingo numbers at a high enough level to have a severe impact on Bridled Nailtail Wallabies (Fisher et al. 2001).

Shelter habitat for Bridled Nail-tail Wallabies is being enhanced by manipulation (pushing over strips of Brigalow regrowth) to provide younger regrowth and woody debris (Evans 1996; Fisher 2000; Fisher & Goldizen 2001; Lundie-Jenkins et al. 2001; Lundie-Jenkins & Lowry 2005). Shelter has also been added to two sites during an experiment, by adding hollow logs and constructed shelters, which are both readily used by the wallabies (Fisher 2000). Favoured food plants are being promoted by blade-ploughing and sowing pasture species in patches of Brigalow regrowth (Fisher 1999a; Lundie-Jenkins et al. 2001). Practices that lead to a severe reduction in pasture diversity, for example sowing Buffel Grass (Cenchrus ciliaris), should be minimised (Evans & Jarman 1999).

Park managers provide supplementary food (Lucerne) during droughts at Taunton National Park (Scientific), and control feral Cats opportunistically (Fisher 1999a; Fisher et al. 2001; Fisher & Goldizen 2001).

Community Nature Conservation initiatives are planned, in order to conserve potential habitat near existing populations of the Bridled Nail-tail Wallaby. More translocations to other areas within the likely historic range of the species (the north and south Brigalow Belt and the Mulga Lands biogeographic region) are also planned. Translocations require long-term predator control (baiting) (Lundie-Jenkins & Lowry 2005).
The following project has received Government funding grants for conservation and recovery work benefiting the Bridled Nail-tail Wallaby :

Sporting Shooters' Association of Australia - Hunting & Conservation (Queensland) received $22 402 through the Threatened Species Network Community Grants in 2008-09 for the Bridled Nail-tail Wallaby Recovery - Feral Predator Control project. The project will increase the control of feral cats on Avocet reserve, a critical activity for the survival and increase of the Bridled Nail-tail Wallaby population.

Management documents for the Bridled Nail-tail Wallaby are at the start of the profile.

The following table lists known and perceived threats to this species. Threats are based on the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) threat classification version 1.1.

Threat Class Threatening Species References
Agriculture and Aquaculture:Agriculture and Aquaculture:Land clearing, habitat fragmentation and/or habitat degradation The 1996 Action Plan for Australian Marsupials and Monotremes (Maxwell, S., A.A. Burbidge & K. Morris, 1996) [Cwlth Action Plan].
Agriculture and Aquaculture:Livestock Farming and Grazing:Grazing pressures and associated habitat changes Recovery plan for the bridled nailtail wallaby (Onychogalea fraenata), 2005-2009 (Lundie-Jenkins, G. & J. Lowry, 2005) [State Recovery Plan].
Agriculture and Aquaculture:Livestock Farming and Grazing:Habitat loss and modification due to clearance of native vegetation and pasture improvements The Impact of Global Warming on the Distribution of Threatened Vertebrates (ANZECC 1991) (Dexter, E.M., A.D. Chapman & J.R. Busby, 1995) [Report].
Recovery plan for the bridled nailtail wallaby (Onychogalea fraenata) 1997-2001 (Lundie-Jenkins, G., 2001) [State Recovery Plan].
Climate Change and Severe Weather:Climate Change and Severe Weather:Reduced rainfall caused by climate change Population dynamics and survival of an endangered wallaby: a comparison of four methods. Ecological Applications. 10: 901-910. (Fisher, D.O., S.D. Hoyle & S.P. Blomberg, 2000) [Journal].
Ecosystem/Community Stresses:Ecosystem Degradation:Decline in habitat quality Recovery plan for the bridled nailtail wallaby (Onychogalea fraenata), 2005-2009 (Lundie-Jenkins, G. & J. Lowry, 2005) [State Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation Oryctolagus cuniculus (Rabbit, European Rabbit) Threat Abatement Plan for Competition and Land Degradation by Feral Rabbits (Environment Australia (EA), 1999c) [Threat Abatement Plan].
Recovery plan for the bridled nailtail wallaby (Onychogalea fraenata) 1997-2001 (Lundie-Jenkins, G., 2001) [State Recovery Plan].
Recovery plan for the bridled nailtail wallaby (Onychogalea fraenata), 2005-2009 (Lundie-Jenkins, G. & J. Lowry, 2005) [State Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation by weeds Recovery plan for the bridled nailtail wallaby (Onychogalea fraenata), 2005-2009 (Lundie-Jenkins, G. & J. Lowry, 2005) [State Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or predation Vulpes vulpes (Red Fox, Fox) Recovery plan for the bridled nailtail wallaby (Onychogalea fraenata) 1997-2001 (Lundie-Jenkins, G., 2001) [State Recovery Plan].
Recovery plan for the bridled nailtail wallaby (Onychogalea fraenata), 2005-2009 (Lundie-Jenkins, G. & J. Lowry, 2005) [State Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or predation Felis catus (Cat, House Cat, Domestic Cat) Predation by feral cats, Felis catus, on an endangered marsupial, the bridled nailtail wallaby, Onychogalea fraenata. Australian Mammalogy. 16:83-84. (Horsup, A. & M. Evans, 1993) [Journal].
Recovery plan for the bridled nailtail wallaby (Onychogalea fraenata) 1997-2001 (Lundie-Jenkins, G., 2001) [State Recovery Plan].
Recovery plan for the bridled nailtail wallaby (Onychogalea fraenata), 2005-2009 (Lundie-Jenkins, G. & J. Lowry, 2005) [State Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Grazing, tramping, competition and/or habitat degradation Ovis aries (Sheep) Recovery plan for the bridled nailtail wallaby (Onychogalea fraenata) 1997-2001 (Lundie-Jenkins, G., 2001) [State Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Grazing, tramping, competition and/or habitat degradation Bos taurus (Domestic Cattle) Recovery plan for the bridled nailtail wallaby (Onychogalea fraenata) 1997-2001 (Lundie-Jenkins, G., 2001) [State Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Predation, competition, habitat degradation and/or spread of pathogens by introduced species Recovery plan for the bridled nailtail wallaby (Onychogalea fraenata), 2005-2009 (Lundie-Jenkins, G. & J. Lowry, 2005) [State Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Presence of pathogens and resulting disease Mortality in wild and captive rock-wallabies and nailtail wallabies due to hydatid disease caused by Echinococcus granulosus. Australian Mammalogy. 20: 419-423. (Johnson, P.M., R. Speare & I. Beveridge, 1998) [Journal].
Recovery plan for the bridled nailtail wallaby (Onychogalea fraenata), 2005-2009 (Lundie-Jenkins, G. & J. Lowry, 2005) [State Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Problematic Native Species:Competition and/or predation Canis lupus dingo (Dingo, Warrigal, New Guinea Singing Dog) Population dynamics and survival of an endangered wallaby: a comparison of four methods. Ecological Applications. 10: 901-910. (Fisher, D.O., S.D. Hoyle & S.P. Blomberg, 2000) [Journal].
Recovery plan for the bridled nailtail wallaby (Onychogalea fraenata) 1997-2001 (Lundie-Jenkins, G., 2001) [State Recovery Plan].
Recovery plan for the bridled nailtail wallaby (Onychogalea fraenata), 2005-2009 (Lundie-Jenkins, G. & J. Lowry, 2005) [State Recovery Plan].
Species Stresses:Indirect Species Effects:Low numbers of individuals Recovery plan for the bridled nailtail wallaby (Onychogalea fraenata) 1997-2001 (Lundie-Jenkins, G., 2001) [State Recovery Plan].
Uncategorised:Uncategorised:threats not specified Recovery plan for the bridled nailtail wallaby (Onychogalea fraenata), 2005-2009 (Lundie-Jenkins, G. & J. Lowry, 2005) [State Recovery Plan].

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Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPaC) (2011j). Survey guidelines for Australia's threatened mammals. EPBC Act survey guidelines 6.5. [Online]. EPBC Act policy statement: Canberra, ACT: DSEWPAC. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/epbc/publications/threatened-mammals.html.

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Fisher, D.O. & A.W. Goldizen (2001). Maternal care and infant behaviour of the bridled nailtail wallaby Onychogalea fraenata. Jounal of Zoology (London). 255:321-330.

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McCallum, H., P. Timmers & S. Hoyle (1995). Modelling the impact of predation on reintroductions of bridled nailtail wallabies. Wildlife Research. 22: 163-171.

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Sigg, D.P. & A.W. Goldizen (2006). Male reproductive tactics and female choice in the solitary, promiscuous Bridled Nailtail Wallaby (Onychogalea fraenata). Journal of Mammology. 87(3):491-469.

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This database is designed to provide statutory, biological and ecological information on species and ecological communities, migratory species, marine species, and species and species products subject to international trade and commercial use protected under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act). It has been compiled from a range of sources including listing advice, recovery plans, published literature and individual experts. While reasonable efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, no guarantee is given, nor responsibility taken, by the Commonwealth for its accuracy, currency or completeness. The Commonwealth does not accept any responsibility for any loss or damage that may be occasioned directly or indirectly through the use of, or reliance on, the information contained in this database. The information contained in this database does not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth. This database is not intended to be a complete source of information on the matters it deals with. Individuals and organisations should consider all the available information, including that available from other sources, in deciding whether there is a need to make a referral or apply for a permit or exemption under the EPBC Act.

Citation: Department of the Environment (2014). Onychogalea fraenata in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/sprat. Accessed Sat, 20 Sep 2014 19:25:53 +1000.