Grey Kangaroo

The grey kangaroo is one of the most populous of all kangaroos (with numbers in the millions) and it is also the fastest of all kangaroos, reaching speeds of up to 70kph.
Macropus giganteus Eastern grey kangaroo On the beach Eastern Australia rel=
Eastern gray kangaroo (Macropus giganteus); Australia
© Martin HARVEY / WWF-Canon

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  • Common Names

    Grey kangaroo

  • Scientific Name

    Macropus fuliginosus (Western) and Macropus giganteus (Eastern)

  • Status

    Least concern

    IUCN

  • Geographic Location

    Australia & Tasmania

This is the species of Kangaroo that you are most likely to see if you visit Australia, even though it tends to avoid humans.
There are 2 types of grey kangaroo: eastern and western.

Eastern grey kangaroo

The Eastern grey kangaroo lives in small groups but may congregate in large numbers when feeding.

It is usually active from late afternoon until early morning, resting in the shade of trees and shrubs during the day.

Strong, muscular legs propel the animal across the grasslands at speeds of 60kph. They are able to clear lengths of 8 metres and heights of 3 metres.

Eastern grey kangaroos generally give birth to one infant at a time but twins have been reported.

Western grey kangaroo

The Western grey kangaroo looks much like the Eastern grey kangaroo, and for many years was treated as a subspecies.

They vary in colour, being anywhere from greyish-brown to chocolate brown.

The muzzle is covered in fine hair.

Western grey kangaroos are also very vocal. The mothers communicate to their joeys with a series of clicks.
Macropus giganteus Eastern grey kangaroo Common species Eastern Australia / ©: Martin HARVEY / WWF-Canon
Eastern gray kangaroo (Macropus giganteus); Australia
© Martin HARVEY / WWF-Canon

What are the main threats?

The main threats to macropods in Australia are:
  • habitat loss
  • altered fire regimes
  • introduced predators
  • climate change.

These are the main drivers of decline affecting many other mammals in Australia as well, and have resulted in this continent having the worst rate of mammal extinctions worldwide.

How you can help

Make a donation

Did you know?

    • The Western grey kangaroo males are known as stinkers due to their strong, curry-like smell.

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