Red Kangaroo

Red KangarooScientific Name: Macropus rufus
Conservation Status: Least Concern
Body Length: 74–140 cm
Weight: 26.5–66 kg
Gestation: 33 days
Number of young: 1

Distribution: Central arid Australia.
Habitat: Arid regions

Description: The Red Kangaroo is the largest living marsupial. Red Kangaroos are reddish-brown in colour with a white belly. They are distinguished from Grey Kangaroos by the black and white markings on their muzzles and their white-tipped tails. Their strong, muscular tail is 64–100 cm long.

Diet: Red Kangaroos are herbivores and graze at dawn and dusk on a wide variety of grasses and herbaceous plants. When water is available they will drink, however, if they obtain sufficient green food, the Red Kangaroo does not need to drink.

In the wild: Red Kangaroos are very social and move in groups ranging from a few dozen to hundreds of individuals.

Kangaroos are hunted by dingos. High populations in arid areas are due to the lack of dingos in the area as well as an over-abundance of drinking sites.

At Perth Zoo: There are a number of female Red Kangaroos around the paths in the Australian Bushwalk. They move freely with Western Grey Kangaroos and wallabies.

Did you know? Females can have up to three young at different stages of development at any given time when food is plentiful. The largest joey will be out of the pouch but will still be suckling from a teat delivering milk high in carbohydrates. The second joey will be in the pouch on another teat drinking milk high in fat while a third will still be an embryo in a suspended state within the uterus. If the pouch joey should die, the mother can give birth shortly after without the need to mate again. This phenomenon is known as embryonic diapause.

Download the Red Kangaroo Fact Sheet (pdf).

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