|Brush-tailed Rock Wallaby|
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The Brush-tailed Rock Wallaby is so rare in Australia that is has long been considered to be close to extinction. It is known as “the shadow” because it is rarely seen and extremely shy. In New Zealand, on the other hand, it is an introduced species and is considered a pest.
In an attempt to increase numbers, a team of Australian trappers went to New Zealand in December 2003 to trap brush-tails on Kawau Island in the Hauraki Gulf, near Auckland. The species had previously been eradicated from Rangitoto and Motutapu Islands, also near Auckland.
Brush-tails (and Parma Wallabies) were liberated on Kawau more than 100 years ago by the then governor, Sir George Grey, and there were believed to be about 40 resident animals near the end of 2003. The authorities announced an eradication program and the Australian rescue operation, partly funded by Adelaide Zoo, swung into action.
If it is established that Kawau brush-tails are genetically identical to the Australian brush-tails, they will be inter bred. The first six Kawau brush-tails trapped were taken to the Waterfall Springs Conservation Park north of Sydney, NSW.