Red Kangaroo

The red kangaroo (Macropus rufus) is the largest of all kangaroo species and is an iconic symbol of Australia’s unique wildlife. 

Physical Characteristics: Red kangaroos are known for their distinctive reddish-brown fur, muscular build, and long, powerful hind legs. They have large, pointed ears and a long, muscular tail, which they use for balance while hopping. Adult males, known as bucks, can grow up to 2 meters (6.6 feet) in height and weigh over 90 kilograms (200 pounds), making them one of the largest marsupials in the world. Females, known as does, are smaller, typically reaching heights of around 1.5 meters (4.9 feet) and weighing between 18 to 40 kilograms (40 to 88 pounds).

Habitat: Red kangaroos inhabit a wide range of habitats across mainland Australia, including deserts, grasslands, scrublands, and open woodlands. They are well adapted to arid environments and can survive in areas with limited access to water by obtaining moisture from the plants they eat.

Diet: Red kangaroos are herbivores, primarily feeding on grasses, herbs, and shrubs. They are grazers and use their specialized teeth to efficiently crop and grind tough vegetation. Red kangaroos are also able to conserve water by reducing their metabolic rate and minimizing water loss through their urine and feces.

Behaviour: Red kangaroos are predominantly crepuscular, meaning they are most active during dawn and dusk when temperatures are cooler. They are highly social animals and live in loose groups known as mobs, which typically consist of several females and their offspring, along with one or more dominant males. Within the mob, there is a hierarchical structure, with dominant individuals having priority access to resources such as food and water.

Reproduction: Red kangaroos have a unique reproductive system. Females have a well-developed pouch, or marsupium, where they raise their young, known as joeys. After a gestation period of around 30 to 36 days, the tiny, underdeveloped joey is born and immediately climbs into the mother’s pouch, where it continues to develop and nurse for several months until it is fully mature. Female red kangaroos can delay the development of a fertilized egg until conditions are favourable for the survival of the offspring, a phenomenon known as embryonic diapause.

Conservation Status: Red kangaroos are not considered endangered, and their populations are relatively stable throughout much of their range. However, they face threats from habitat loss, competition with livestock for resources, and hunting for their meat and skins. Conservation efforts focus on habitat protection, management of grazing pressure, and sustainable harvesting practices to ensure the long-term survival of red kangaroo populations.

Overall, red kangaroos are iconic symbols of Australia’s diverse wildlife and play important roles in maintaining healthy ecosystems across their range. Their unique adaptations and behaviours make them fascinating subjects for study and observation.

Red Kangaroo Gallery


Location - Zoo
Threat Status - Least Concerned

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