Mala (rufous hare-wallaby)
This small wallaby used to be one of the most abundant macropods in the Northern Territory but is now extinct in the wild.
Mala live in patches of spinifex and feed in nearby areas. They have a varied diet, primarily surviving on seeds, fruits, and leaf and stem material. When food is scarce they will also eat spinifex and small insects.
The mala is a very important animal for Anangu, and one of the main Tjukurpa stories is about the Mala people.
Two factors have contributed to the major collapse of this species: predation by cats and foxes and the reduction of traditional Aboriginal burning practices when Aboriginal people were moved to settlements.
Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park now runs a mala reintroduction program to support these threatened marsupials.