Mala build survival skills

The eagles watch and wait

The eagles watch and wait

One of the wedge-tailed eagles takes in the view

One of the wedge-tailed eagles takes in the views!

At Uluru, a pair of wedge-tailed eagles are keeping our mala on their toes and teaching them some valuable survival skills. Wedge-tailed eagle sightings are quite rare at Uluru but we currently have a breeding pair residing here. The clever birds are nesting in our mala enclosure, where they hope to catch a quick and easy snack on their doorstep.

Unfortunately we have lost a couple of mala to the eagles, but predation is something we have to accept is a natural part of the landscape. The positive side of this relationship is that the birds are helping the mala maintain their natural behaviours – being aware of predators who don’t just see them as cute and fluffy.

Of course, the mala also get a helping hand from us. The small and endangered animal – also called the rufous hare wallaby – is no longer found in the wild on the Australian mainland. It survives in a few feral-proof enclosures scattered around different parts of the continent and some islands off the West Australian coast. Our mala enclosure covers 170 hectares and is surrounded by a cat and fox proof fence. We have more than 200 mala in the park – the largest population anywhere on the mainland.

Richie, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park

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