How we're protecting endangered mala at Uluru

We recently finished another successful annual mala survey at Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.

Preparing the fruit traps at Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park

Every year we catch our mala to report on their weight and sex, to check if they have any parasites and if they are breeding.

We began with three days of ‘pre-feeding’, where the traps are wired open and the mala can come and go freely – enticed with apples and carrots. This was followed by four nights of surveying, starting at around 9pm each evening.

Mala, a small and critically endangered wallaby, are extremely important to Anangu. Unfortunately all the mala populations in the wild on mainland Australia have disappeared and now the species is surviving in a few feral-proof enclosures scattered around different parts of the continent and some islands off the western Australia coast.

Our mala enclosure covers 170 hectares and is surrounded by a cat and fox proof fence. Inside, the mala live a fairly natural life apart from the provision of supplementary food that they can use in the drier times.

Mala sanctuary at Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park

We are now busy collating and analysing the results – we’ll keep you posted on our findings.

Kerrie Bennison, Uluru

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Uluru-Kata Tjuta on Flickr

The mala re-introduction project