We sighted all three local macropods on the Megalong trip, including this big, muscular, male Wallaroo. Others were Grey kangaroo and Red-necked wallaby, the Swamp wallaby is at nearby Jenolan.
This big boy joins the petite female wallaroo in my Mammal set on Flickr.
The timber post and rail fence would date from the mid 19thC pioneer days when the valley was first settled. Before then it was Gundungurra territory and he was called 'goondarwa', and his wife was 'bawa'. In the inland Dharug dialect he is 'Wolaru', which was adopted as his English name.
The flowers high up in the background are belladonna lilies, another relic of pioneer days.
Driving back past the Megalong school house, another big male crossed the road in front of us and cruised up a vertical 3 metre cutting.
Below is a partial rewrite of part of the limited and, I'm sorry to say, poorly written Wikipedia entry:
"The common wallaroo (Macropus robustus) or wallaroo, also known as euro or hill wallaroo is a species of macropod ( Kangaroo). One subspecies (M. r. erubescens) is commonly called euro. The eastern wallaroo is mostly nocturnal and solitary, and is one of the more common macropods. When disturbed it makes a loud hissing noise and is sexually dimorphic.
Eastern wallaroo (M. r. robustus) – Found in eastern Australia, males of this subspecies have dark fur, resembling the black wallaroo (Macropus bernardus). Females are lighter, being sandy in colour."en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_wallaroo
I'm actually a Wikipedia editor but fixing all the poorly written articles would take more than one lifetime!
This is a slightly better article but also needs more copy editing:
The Eastern Wallaroo is the temperate eastern sub-species of the most widespread kangaroo, the Common Wallaroo (or Hill Kangaroo). Eastern Wallaroos have a large naked rhinarium giving them a dark shiny ‘button nose’ like koalas and wombats. They have no facial stripe but they do have large rounded ears. Their coat is coarser and shaggier than the fine down of Red Kangaroos. Females are smaller and rarely exceed 25 kg. Their coat colour varies from light grey through to black. Males are larger and stocky with pronounced forearm musculature when mature. They reach around 50 kg and show a similar variation in coat colour but are darker than females and often predominantly black on the upper parts. The under parts are lighter and the tail tip is not black. The Eastern Wallaroo can be distinguished from the Eastern Grey Kangaroo by its less gracile form and blacker coat. Eastern Wallaroos hop on their short legs in an upright posture, which seems less elegant than Eastern Grey Kangaroos on flat ground, but comes to the fore as they effortlessly bound up rocky slopes.
The Eastern Wallaroo is a hill-dweller and so occupies the slopes and ridges, using rocky overhangs and shallow caves as shelter. In some places they inhabit low lying areas of dense scrub. Females tend to be more easily alarmed by people than males who sometimes tolerate quite close approach..."
I prefer Sid Bellingham's article which is reproduced below.
I prefer Sid Bellingham's article which is reproduced below.
Wallaroos though not so great in size as kangaroo, are heavier in build; the tail being short and thick, the ears of greater size than a kangaroo, and the fur much longer. The colour of a male Wallaroo is black, that of a female light grey. They frequent the steep and rocky sides of the mountains, and are often found on the rocks in the day time, being similar in their habits to Rock Wallabies. They like to bask under a ledge of rock, on the sunny side of a mountain, in the winter, and where any rocky bosses occur, they are most likely to be found.
Wallaroos have a keen sense of smell, and can scent the approach of anyone, for this reason they require to be stalked with great care, working up against the wind, if possible. I consider stalking Wallaroo the best sport on the mountains, it is the Deer stalking of Australia, and considerable judgement is required in approaching the quarry. What is of primary importance, the sportsman after this sort of game requires to be a good rifle shot, because when climbing about the steep side of the mountains one is apt to get shaky, and often have to shoot on sight.
Wallaroos are not easy to drive, on account of their keen scent, and I think it best to stalk them, especially if the country is rough. A dog is not much use in pointing out game, as the scent of Wallaroo is frequently crossed by that of Rock Wallaby. In tracking up a wounded Wallaroo a dog is useful. Wallaroo do not travel nearly so fast as Kangaroo or Wallaby, and soon bail up, when pursued by a dog, and show fight.
On one occasion I shot a big Black Wallaroo, and wounded it, and as I could not get another shot in before it disappeared I let my dog go on its trail, following down the hill after them, as quickly as I could. At last I heard the dog bay from the river, which at this place, had very steep and rocky banks. After some difficulty I reached the stream, and found the Wallaroo standing in the middle of a waterhole, holding my dog which it was trying to drown with its front legs, while the dog had hold of the Wallaroo by the ear. I had to wade into the water before I could kill the Wallaroo, and rescue the dog. I had great difficulty in getting the Wallaroo out of the water, as it was a very large one, and the spot being a deep basin hollowed out of the rock, with steep and slippery sides.
It is a common occurrence for a Wallaroo to pick up a dog, and make off to the nearest water and try to drown it. When a Wallaroo is wounded high up on the side of a mountain, it will generally make down the hill, and your object is, to try and stop it as soon as possible; for of course you have all the distance to ascend again. It is surprising the distance they travel sometimes, after being shot.
The claws of a Wallaroo are worn down considerably from constantly travelling over hard and rock ground, and they cannot do so much damage with them as a kangaroo does, but they use their teeth more. I have seen them bite very savagely - first at myself - and then at the dog, when I have been trying to overtake a wounded one.
The flesh of a Wallaroo is much better eating than either a Kangaroo or a Wallaby, a piece of steak off the hind-quarters being a very good substitute for beef steak. The skins of Wallaroos make a good warm rug, somewhat heavy, but one that will stand a lot of hard wear. The young Wallaroo is easily tamed, and makes a good pet."
Bellingham, Sid R. 1899. Ten Years with the Palette, Shotgun and Rifle on the Blue Mountains, NSW, a complete guide to the shooting and fishing to be obtained on the Blue Mountains.