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Tasmanian pademelon facts for kids

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Tasmanian pademelon
Thylogale billardierii.jpg
Mt Field National Park
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Genus:
Thylogale
Species:
billardierii
Tasmanian Pademelon area.png
Tasmanian pademelon range

The Tasmanian pademelon (Thylogale billardierii), also known as the rufous-bellied pademelon or red-bellied pademelon, is the sole species of pademelon found in Tasmania, and was formerly found throughout southeastern Australia. This pademelon has developed heavier and bushier fur than its northern relatives, who inhabit northern Australia and Papua New Guinea.

Males reach around 7 kg (15.4 lbs) in weight, 1–1.2 metres in length including the tail, and are considerably larger than the females, which average 4 kg (8.8 lbs).

Habitat

Tasmanian-pademelon-and-joey
Female and her joey.
Thylogale billardierii 02 MWNH 351
Skull of a Tasmanian pademelon

Pademelons are solitary and nocturnal, spending the daylight hours in thick vegetation. Rainforest, sclerophyll forest, and scrubland are preferred, although wet gullies in dry open eucalyptus forest are also used. Such places, next to open areas where feeding can occur, are especially favoured. After dusk, the animals move onto open areas to feed, but rarely stray more than 100 metres from the forest edge.

The species is abundant and widespread throughout Tasmania.

Diet

The Tasmanian pademelon is a nocturnal herbivore feeding on a wide variety of plants, from herbs, green shoots and grass, to some nectar-bearing flowers.

Once a part of the diet of the thylacine, the Tasmanian pademelon is still preyed upon by other predators of the island, including the Tasmanian devil and quolls. Even so, they are abundant to the point of being culled occasionally (along with other wallabies) to reduce competition for grass with the farmed animals. Hunting of the Tasmanian pademelon is allowed, its pelt having some economic value and its meat being palatable.

Breeding

There is no specific breeding season, though 70% of pademelon births seem to occur around the beginning of winter. Gestation for the female is 30 days. The young are in the pouch for about 6 months thereafter, and are weaned at around 8 months. Joeys are sexually mature at 14–15 months. Pademelons live between 5 and 6 years in the wild.

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