ROAD-WISE WALLABIES LOOK BOTH WAYS: Swamp wallabies are found on Phillip Island, southeast of Melbourne. Due to hunting in the 1960s thru to the 1980s, their numbers dwindled. They’ve rebounded ever since and can be seen throughout the area. Like kangaroos, wallabies are most active at night, when most collisions with road vehicles occur. The little fellow in this photo was obviously the cautious type, not completely confident motorists would heed the road sign.
Fun fact: When Captain Cook first landed in Australia, the kangaroo population was estimated to be under 3 million. The Australian government estimates that currently, the ‘roo population is between 50 and 60 million. Annually, about 2.5 million are ‘harvested.’
Shot handheld with a Nikon D3100, 18-200 DX zoom lens at 105mm, f4.9, 1/320 sec, f11, ISO 800 Copyright photo by John Ecker | pantheon photography.
WALLABIES, PHILLIP ISLAND, VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA: That’s right, these are wallabies and not kangaroos. Wallabies and kangaroos are similar. They are both native to Australia— marsupials, similar looking and both make “boing, boing, boing” sounds as they hop along. Okay, they don’t actually make that sound, but it’s pretty funny when you see them jump along and you add your own sound effects.
Kangaroos are much larger and built for speed on open terrain. Wallabies are smaller and their shorter legs are ideal for jumping through brush and forest. The wallabies I saw on Philip Island were under three feet tall and weighed no more than 50 lbs. Kangaroos can weigh in at 200 lbs and tower up to 8 feet. The Philip Island wallabies are known as ‘swamp’ or ‘black’ wallabies. The two wallabies in this photo were grazing in a short brush field. I was about 40 feet from the little fellows. I moved slowly and deliberately to get that close since wallabies are a bit skittish.
Shot handheld with a Nikon D300, 70-300 DX zoom lens at 300mm, f7.1, 1/500 sec, ISO 1000. Copyright photo by John Ecker | pantheon photography.