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The late 19th century and early 20th century saw the release of many mammalian species in New Zealand. One of the lesser known invasives is the dama wallaby or Macropus eugenii. This species was released on Kawau island around 1870. More of these wallabies were then released in 1912, but we don’t know if these came from Kawau Island or were another Australian import.

By the 1950s the wallaby had established itself in the central Bay of Plenty. It’s range at the moment is being curtailed by a combination of geography and pest control. The current range is bound by a number of lakes and rivers in the Bay of Plenty.

The dama wallaby is also the smallest extant wallaby species. It is also a pest and its browsing inflicts significant damage to emerging native plants.

I took the following photos of a young wallaby feeding at a local zoo (Rainbow Fairy Springs) in Rotorua.

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