Kangaroos are marsupials and belong to the Family Macropodidae (i.e. big feet) that is grouped with the Potoroidae (potoroos, bettongs, rat-kangaroos) and Hypsiprymnodontidae (musky rat-kangaroo) in the Super-Family, Macropodoidea. This comprises around 50 species in
Two of the four species of Hare-wallabies that were identified at European colonisation of Australia are extinct. The only species which retains a broad geographic range is the Spectacled Hare-wallaby which also has a small population is southern New Guinea. The genus was once common in the deserts and tropics and south-west of Western Australia. Pastoralism and the introduction of livestock grazing and concomitant changes in fire management and release of rabbits, foxes and cats have wrought a devastating impacts on the attractive small wallabies. A characteristic, emphasised in the Spectacled Hare-wallaby, is the rufous fur around the eye. The Hare-wallabies have long feet with long claws but the fore-limbs are very delicate and short.
Lagostrophus fasciatus fasciatus ('hare twist/turn bundle')
Bernier Island, Western Australia
Bernier and nearby Dorre Island are part of the World Heritage area of Shark Bay. Bernier Island was named after Pierre Francois Bernier, an astronomer on the Geographe expedition of 1801 by the French. The island is a nature reserve and only accessible by boat. Visitors cannot stay on the island but can make a day visit. Open fires and pets are not permitted. Access is from Denham, 340 km from Carnarvon and 410 km from Geraldton. Commercial flights operate to Shark Bay and airfare and accommodation packages are available.
Richards JD, Short J, Prince RIT, Friend JA, Courtenay JM (2001) The biology of banded (Lagostrophus fasciatus) and rufous (Lagorchestes hirsutus) hare-wallabies (Diprotodontia: Macropodidae) on Dorre and Bernier Islands, Western Australia. Wildlife Research 28, 311-322.
Short J, Turner B (1992) The distribution and abundance of rufous hare-wallabies, Lagostrophus fasciatus and Lagorchestes hirsutus. Biological Conservation 60, 157-166.