RED KANGAROO

Macropus rufus

The Red kangaroo is found throughout the semi-arid and arid regions of mainland Australia, and it is the largest living marsupial in the world. Males can weigh up to 92 kg; females are smaller with a weight of up to 39kg.  When moving, the  Red kangaroo can hop at up to 65km/hr.  They are also capable of swimming short distances.

They prefer desert and open plains or sparsely wooded areas with grassland and open forest, they are herbivores, primarily grazing on grasses but also eat forbs and leaves of shrubs.

Living in arid areas the Red Kangaroo has the ability to survive when water is scarce. The herbage and foliage that the Kangaroo eats provides them with their water needs as well as their nutritional requirements. In times of drought, Red Kangaroo populations suffer as their food supplies diminish. The abundance of food is a determining factor in the Red Kangaroo life cycle. Reproduction is very sensitive to environmental conditions. The Red Kangaroo breeds all year round, however spring and summer tend to be times when most young are born.

The Dingo and some large raptors capable of taking joeys was the Red kangaroo’s main predators before white man arrived in Australia. Since that time humans, introduced red foxes and dogs as well as feral cats that present a threat to juveniles, has joined the Dingo as main predators.

Humans pose the greatest threat to these magnificent wild animals as they are targeted by commercial shooters “harvesting” skins, hides  and  meat  for commercial gain.