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Kangaroo's Cousins, Rock-Wallabies And Bettongs, Are On The Verge Of Extinction.

Warnings are being given by the wildlife campaigners that cousins of the kangaroo, bettongs and rock-wallabies, are on the verge of extinction.

Darren Grover from the World Wildlife Fund Australia said that bettongs and rock-wallabies are not easy to find as they are disappearing. However, large kangaroos, the most recognized Australian animals, are thriving, as reported by ( Delhi Daily News . He continued that bettongs and rock-wallabies aren't household names and that they fear the small species of the kangaroo family might go extinct before many Australians even know of their existence.

He added that the marsupials with large feet and powerful hind legs are on the verge of extinction because of habitat issues as well as falling prey to feral animals, such as foxes and cats.

While the northern bettong are used to be found along the coast of Queensland from Rockhampton to Cairns, now only small and isolated populations of them are found in North Queensland.

Because of predators like the red fox contributing to the extinction of the rock-wallabies, efforts are being taken by Western Australia to keep the black-flanked species in a protected zone, which is proving to be successful.

Grover said that rock-wallabies and bettongs are fascinating animals; wallabies are acrobats while bettongs are engineers that contibute to the growth of trees, help soil improvement and even prevent bush fires by burying leaf litter. He added that it would be a tragedy if the small cousins of the kangaroo would join the seven macropod species -- marsupials with large feet and powerful hind feet -- listed as extinct.

Grover continued that although rock-wallabies and bettongs are lesser known than the kangaroos, they are still an important part of Australian biodiversity.

On Sep. 7, National Threatened Species Day is celebrated to mark the death of the Tasmanian tiger or the last thylacine in the Hobart Zoo in the year 1936, almost 78 years ago.

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Publication:International Business Times - US ed.
Geographic Code:8AUST
Date:Sep 8, 2014
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