Species At Risk
Prior to the 1890's, the yellow-footed rock wallaby was reported to be in 'virtual plague proportions' in the northern Flinders Ranges. The result of this was an 'open season' which saw many thousands of animals fall victim to sport and the fur trade, whereby their highly adorned pelts were exported to London.
In 1912, the species became protected in South Australia as a direct result of the rapid decline in animal numbers. However, they continued to be persecuted by humans with pelts being exported through the eastern states. Due to its new-found rarity, in 1924 Professor F. Wood-Jones (one of Australia's great zoologists) wrote:
"Petrogale xanthopus is a fitting example of an animal which needs sanctuary for its preservation and more stringent legislative efforts to check its slaughter."
Although the yellow-footed rock wallaby is still declining today, the threats currently posed differ. Direct predation by the introduced European Fox and feral cat is one of the major problems facing the species. Feral goats and to a less extent rabbits also compete with the rock wallaby for the often limited vegetation and water in the arid zone. This results in the wallaby having to feed on the open plain, instead of the hills in which they inhabit, which in turn further contributes to the predation pressure.