NSW Brush-tailed Rock-wallaby Recovery Team

The NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change (DECC) convenes the NSW Brush-tailed Rock-wallaby Recovery Team and has produced a Recovery Plan for the Brush-tailed Rock-wallaby in New South Wales that aims to ensure the sustainability of priority populations and to prevent the extinction of the wallaby in the wild in NSW.

NSW once contained all three genetically distinct groups, the Southern, Central and Northern Evolutionary Significant Units. However, the population declines mean only the Central and Northern groups exist in NSW.


  • Habitat modification – Loss, degradation and fragmentation of habitat due to land clearing for residential development and agriculture
  • European red fox – Predation from introduced species like the fox is one of the biggest threats because of their agility. Feral cats can also be prey on Brush-tailed Rock-wallabies, especially the young
  • Competition – Introduced species such as feral goats and rabbits can compete with Brush-tailed Rock-wallabies for food and shelter
  • Inappropriate fire regimes – Large, intense fires can reduce the abundance and diversity of ground forage

Recovery Actions

The DECC has identified 31 priority actions to help recover the Bush-tailed Rock-wallaby in NSW that include:

  • Pest animal control
  • Monitoring
  • Surveys
  • Release of captive bred animals to support declining colonies

Organisations Involved

Captive Management

Waterfall Springs Wildlife Sanctuary

Waterfall Springs Wildlife Sanctuary is a non-profit private organisation located on the Central Coast of NSW that works with government wildlife agencies, major zoos and the community in the fight to help save endangered species. With its 30 purpose built enclosures, intensive breeding facilities and specialist technologies, Waterfall Springs is currently the lead organisation in the development and implementation of the captive breeding program for the Brush-tailed Rock-wallaby in NSW.

Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve

Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve is located in the Australian Capital Territory between the Tidbinbilla and Gibraltar Ranges. It has both intensive breeding facilities and large enclosures for breeding. In addition, specific large enclosures enable the holding and acclimatisation of animals prior to reintroduction to the wild. Wildlife facilities cater for involvement in threatened species recovery programs and also research opportunities in veterinary science.

Taronga Conservation Society Australia

Taronga Conservation Society Australia staff contribute technical expertise to the recovery team and maintain captive Central ESU breeding groups at Taronga and Western Plains Zoos for breeding and release purposes.

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary

CWS will shortly be holding a breeding group for the Central ESU breeding program.


Captive populations are managed under the guidance of the Australian Species Management Program, the species management arm of the Australasian Regional Association of Zoological Parks and Aquaria (ARAZPA).

Community/Non-Government Organizations Involved

Friends of the Brush-tailed Rock-wallaby

The Friends of the Brush-tailed Rock-wallaby group in Kangaroo Valley NSW is a group of landowners, farmers and other concerned people who volunteer their time, with a common interest in conserving the threatened wallabies as well as addressing the impact of feral animals. They do this through education, awareness raising activities, and fundraising.


WWF-Australia is working to promote the plight of the Brush-tailed Rock-wallaby in the community. WWF-Australia has also helped to coordinate more investment in recovery efforts through government grants, corporate sponsorship, and donations. In partnership with the NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change (DECC) and Waterfall Springs Wildlife Sanctuary, WWF has been working to stabilise and ultimately increase the populations of weak Brush-tailed Rock-wallaby colonies in NSW through the wild release of captive bred animals.

Coonabarabran and Upper Castlereagh Catchment Landcare Group

The Coonabarabran and Upper Castlereagh Catchment Landcare Group in the Warrumbungle National Park area of NSW are involved in monitoring and threat abatement activities around Brush-tailed Rock-wallaby habitat.

Foundation for National Parks and Wildlife

The Foundation for National Parks and Wildlife has funded conservation projects for the Brush-tailed Rock-wallaby involving monitoring, captive breeding and school education for the past three decades.

Role and interests of indigenous people

To contribute to the preparation of the NSW Recovery Plan for the Brush-tailed Rock-wallaby, DECC assisted in developing a community-based research project across the four Local Aboriginal Land Council areas which cover much of the core habitat of the Brush-tailed Rock-wallaby in northern NSW. Elders and relevant individuals were asked to contribute their knowledge of the Brush-tailed Rock-wallaby, and are being consulted about their issues and concerns. The project aimed to enable each community to express their views about ways in which the Aboriginal community should be involved in threatened species management generally. The following Local Aboriginal Land Councils, national parks and state forest areas are covered by this consultation:

  • Armidale – Oxley Wild Rivers National Park, Guy Fawkes River National Park, Styx River, State Forest
  • Amaroo, Walcha area – Oxley Wild Rivers National Park
  • Guyra – Guy Fawkes River National Park and Guy Fawkes River State Conservation Area
  • Purfleet – Nowendoc National Park, Woko National Park, Tuggolo State Forest and Mernot State Forest

How you can help


Department of Environment and Climate Change

Environment Line – Information services
Phone: 131 555 for the cost of a local call within New South Wales (mobiles excluded), or (02) 9995 5555.
Fax: (02) 9995 5999
Email: [email protected]
Street address: Level 15, 59-61 Goulburn St, Sydney NSW
Postal address: PO Box A290, Sydney South NSW 1232
Website: www.environment.nsw.gov.au

State recovery information: Victoria | New South Wales | Queensland

State Information

What you can do!

An important aspect of Brush-tailed Rock-wallaby recovery is the active involvement of local landholders and the community overall. See what you can do!


Did you know?

Brush-tailed Rock-wallabies live in areas where they can thermo-regulate (control) their temperatures by basking in the sunshine when the weather is cool or moving into caves or shady canopy to avoid the heat of the day.