22 Sept 2023


The brush-tailed rock-wallaby is an acrobat of the marsupial world able to leap and bound through rugged terrain thanks to their compact, muscular build, using their long - and as their name would suggest - distinctively brushy tail, for balance. 

The brush-tailed rock-wallaby can be found from South East Queensland right down to the Grampians in western Victoria, roughly following the Great Dividing Range. Belonging to a family known as macropods, or “big foot”, there’s much more to them than just big feet. Here are five interesting facts about brush-tailed rock-wallabies that you might not know!  

1. Brush-tailed rock-wallabies are super-agile.

Forget mountain goats, brush-tailed rock-wallabies can hop up almost vertical rock walls! They love rocky outcrops and cliffs, especially ones with caves and cracks to hide in and with ledges they can sunbake on during the day. 

A brush-tailed rock-wallaby captured on a sensor camera as part of the Eyes on Recovery program.
© Natalya Maitz / University of Queensland

2. Brush-tailed rock-wallabies are very shy.

If you’re daring enough to be rock scrambling around brush-tailed rock-wallaby habitat, you still probably won’t see any wallabies. During the day, they often hide away in caves and crevices, emerging at night to look for grasses and flowering plants to eat.

3. Brush-tailed rock-wallabies are more active on cloudy nights.

As a nocturnal species, brush-tailed rock-wallabies are often out and about at night time, foraging for food and keeping to shadows so they don’t get noticed. As a result, they are often more active on nights with more cloud cover.

Brush tail rock wallaby caught on sensor camera
© NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service

4. Brush-tailed rock-wallabies are listed as Vulnerable to extinction in Australia. 

They are threatened by feral predators, including cats and foxes, loss of food resources due to invasive weeds or competing feral herbivores such as goats and the destruction, degradation and fragmentation of the places they call home.

5. More than one-third (38%) of brush-tailed rock-wallaby habitat was burnt in the catastrophic bushfires of 2019-20.

As part of a collaborative sensor camera project, Eyes on Recovery, with the support of Google’s philanthropic arm, Google.org, we’ve been tracking how brush-tailed rock-wallabies are recovering in the aftermath of the fires. 


Eyes on Recovery uses sensor cameras and an innovative artificial intelligence platform to identify Australian wildlife in camera images. Previously, manually sorting through wildlife images was a slow and painstaking process, but by tapping into Wildlife Insights’ machine learning capabilities, we can now efficiently and effectively identify more than 130 species from more than 1,100 cameras across Australia. More than 2.5 million Australian images have been analysed to train the artificial intelligence so far, and it’s now able to spot the difference between kangaroos and wallabies. That’s good tech!

Want to help our brush-tailed rock-wallabies? Here is how you can get involved.