Monday 4 June 2018

Sparring pademelons

Red-legged pademelons (Thylogale stigmatica) are not sociable animals, but they put up with each other. But every now and then, especially towards the end of the wet season, the males will compete for dominance. This plays out as frantic chases through the scrub until they get to a clearing. Then, with no cover in which to hide, they will front up and fight.

Although pademelons are small – under a metre in height – they can inflict serious damage. These two were fighting on the lawn outside my office.

These fights can last for a long time. They frequently kick each other, using the tail to push off the ground. They will also try to throw their opponent down. It's Nature, but that doesn't make it any less unpleasant to watch.

The male on the left was and remains boss of the garden. The male on the right is still around, but he is kept in place with growls and hisses.

Birds are quick to take advantage of the fights; the swoop down and grab the clumps of flying fur for lining their nests.