Wallabies on the Isle of Man

WILD LIFE: Ballaugh Curraghs wallaby, photographed by Rob Evans

Although the famous Peak District wallabies were wiped out by harsh winters in the 1990s, there are still several wild populations of wallabies in the British Isles, the largest of which is probably today on the Isle of Man which is home to a breeding colony of around 100 red-necked wallabies. These Manx wallabies have steadily increased in numbers since a pair escaped from a Wildlife Park some years ago.

According to Duncan Bridges, director of the Manx Wildlife Trust, ‘The population is thriving. Some of our nature reserves are grazed by feral wallabies. We have nine reserves in the Curraghs and one in particular is awash with their droppings. – They don’t cause any real problem…They are herbivores and graze on grass, rushes and reeds and occasionally gnaw on the branches of elder and willow.’ Isle of Man Today

The wallabies are found in the Ballaugh Curraghs (In Manx Gaelic, a curragh refers to the willow scrub habitat). They seem to occupy a similar ecological niche to hares.

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