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Tammar Wallaby



Tammar Wallaby[1]

Conservation status

Near Threatened [2]
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Infraclass: Marsupialia
Order: Diprotodontia
Family: Macropodidae
Genus: Macropus
Species: M. eugenii
Binomial name
Macropus eugenii
Desmarest, 1817

The Tammar Wallaby (Macropus eugenii), also known as the Dama Wallaby or Darma Wallaby, is a small member of the kangaroo family and is the type species for research on kangaroos and marsupials.

Additional recommended knowledge

It is found on offshore islands on the South Australian and Western Australian coast. It is classified as vermin on Kangaroo Island, where it seasonally breeds in large numbers and damages the echidna habitat on the island.

The Tammar Wallaby was seen on West Wallabi Island in the Houtman Abrolhos off Western Australia by survivors of the 1628 Batavia shipwreck, and recorded by Francisco Pelsart in his 1629 Ongeluckige Voyagie. This represents the first recorded sighting of a macropod by Europeans,[3] and probably also the first sighting of an Australian mammal.[4]

 

The Tammar Wallaby has three subspecies:

  • M. e. eugenii from mainland South Australia - this subspecies was driven to extinction on the mainland due to land clearing and predation by cats and foxes. However, they had been introduced to Kawau Island in New Zealand in the 1800s. This island population is considered a pest species in New Zealand - but has provided an ideal source of animals for reintroduction to their native habitat.
  • M. e. derbianus which inhabits Western Australia (and some islands).
  • M. e. decres, the Darma or Dama Wallaby, is the population on Kangaroo Island, South Australia.

This wallaby's small size (approx 8kg, similar to a large cat) and ease of keeping in captivity makes it a popular zoo animal.

Australian scientists, lead by Dr. Ben Cocks, have found a compound in the milk of the Tammar Wallaby called AGG01 which has the potential to be a ‘miracle cure’ and just as revolutionary as penicillin. AGG01 is a protein and in laboratory testing AGG01 has been 100 times more effective than penicillin, killing over 99% of the pathogenic bacteria (both gram-positive and gram–negative) and fungus that it was incubated with, including Salmonella, Proteus vulgaris and golden staphylococcus.[5]

References

  1. ^ Groves, Colin (16 November 2005). in Wilson, D. E., and Reeder, D. M. (eds): Mammal Species of the World, 3rd edition, Johns Hopkins University Press, 64. ISBN 0-801-88221-4. 
  2. ^ Australasian Marsupial & Monotreme Specialist Group (1996). Macropus eugenii. 2006 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. Retrieved on 10 May 2006.
  3. ^ Pearson, Michael. "Great Southern Land: The maritime exploration of Terra Australis". Department of the Environment and Heritage, Government of Australia. Retrieved on 2007-12-21.
  4. ^ Storr, Glen (1965). "The physiography, vegetation and vertebrate fauna of the Wallabi Group, Houtman Abrolhos". Journal of the Royal Society of Western Australia 48 (1): 1–14.
  5. ^ Fighting superbugs with milk. NewScientist.com (2006-04-20). Retrieved on 2006-09-07.
 
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Tammar_Wallaby". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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