SPECIES: Lagorchestes hirsutus Central Australian subspecies — Mala, Rufous Hare-Wallaby (Central Australia)


Shaggy in appearance, equipped with a long tail, grey at the tip. Meet the Mala. AKA the Rufous Hare-Wallaby. Malas are a small, kangaroo-like marsupial, once abundant across most of Australia. It is now extinct on the mainland of Australia. Wild populations of Malas are now confined to two islands off WA and numbers are still quite fragile. They are a nocturnal, solitary animal, eating herbs, leaves and seeds. The Mala is also of great importance in Aboriginal culture. Dreamtime stories talk about the Mala watching over the Aboriginal Mala people from their rocks and caves.

In 2017, FAME established a colony of Mala at Scotia Sanctuary in NSW. Learn more about projects we are currently supporting on the FAME website:

Photo credit: © Lochman Transparencies.

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