Article and video by Stephanie Reif, conservation partnerships officer, Sunshine Coast Council
Swamp wallabies are usually solitary animals of the forest; quietly browsing, and always aware of danger. Rarely do you see more than 2 of them together and if you do it is usually a mother and her young who is either still in the pouch or not yet independent. Only occasionally 2 males are seen together fighting to determine who is dominant.
While male eastern grey kangaroos are better known for fighting, most male macropods do fight. And as you can see from this video of 2 male swamp wallabies fighting on a Land for Wildlife property on the Blackall Range, they don’t hold back!
The males lean back onto their tails using both legs to kick at their opponent while raking and grabbing with their paws. When the weaker starts to tire, a number of flips takes the weaker male onto the ground allowing the dominant male to really strike out!
Not long after the end of this video the weaker male hopped away into the forest clearly happy to escape from his opponent. Half a minute later he was followed by the victor just in case he got any ideas!
What you can’t see so easily from the footage is that towards the end both wallabies are clearly exhausted and puffing heavily! The night after this footage was filmed two female swamp wallabies were observed feeding on different sides of the property both with young just out of the pouch.