Western Gray Kangaroo

Western Gray Kangaroo

Macropus fuliginosus

Quick Facts
Height:
Weight:
5 feet to 7 feet
Males: 121 lbs; females: 66 lbs
Wild diet: Grasses, plants and shrubs
Zoo Diet: Pelleted grain, chopped lettuce, apples, carrots, sweet potatoes, bananas and peanuts
Distribution: Throughout southern Australia, western and central New South Wales, southern Queensland, western Victoria, and Kangaroo Island
Habitat: Forests, woodlands, grasslands, pastures and farmland

Largest Marsupials

Western grey kangaroos have excellent senses of smell, sight and hearing. They can swivel their ears around to focus in a specific direction. Their eyes are situated on the sides of their head. This gives them a large field of vision, which helps in avoiding predation. They can use their tail to support their whole body and they can growl like a dog when upset.

Description

Western gray kangaroos are sexually dimorphic (with two distinct gender forms); males are about twice the size of females. Gray kangaroos are light gray-brown to chocolate in color. They are bipedal (move with two legs), with powerful hind legs and tail. They have four toes on their hind feet. The two inside toes are jointed and form a grooming tool. The extra-long middle toe has a sharp nail that is used as a weapon. Their large ears can turn in all directions. Females have pouches. Their muzzle is covered in fine hair. The margins of their nostrils are bare black skin.

Status in the Wild

They are common. Some species have increased in numbers and range due to resources available from cattle ranching. They are hunted for meat and skins. In some areas, they are overhunted. The kangaroos are also shot as pests and culled due to high numbers in some areas. Culling is controversial, but this sustainable-use concept may prove to be advantageous.

Conservation Programs

Listed as “least concern" on the IUCN Red List (International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources).

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