(Macropus giganteus and Macropus fuliginosus).
Grey Kangaroos have a wide and almost continuous distribution through most of Australia, including Tasmania, between the inland plains and the coast in habitats ranging from semi-arid mallee scrub through woodland to forest. There are two distinct species of Grey Kangaroo - the Eastern Grey (also known as the Great Grey Kangaroo, Forester, Scrub Kangaroo and Scrubber) and the Western Grey (also known as the Black-faced Kangaroo, Mallee Kangaroo, Sooty Kangaroo and Stinker).
The Grey Kangaroo is predominantly a grazing animal with preferences for grasses which survive even during times of drought. During daylight hours, the Grey Kangaroo usually rests in the shade or shelter of trees and shrubs, moving out to graze from late afternoon to early morning, when they tend to aggregate in more open country.
The development of the pastoral industry led to a marked increase in the Grey Kangaroo population. Both species of grey kangaroo are protected by law but authorities may grant licenses to shoot excess kangaroos where they are found to be causing damage to fences, crops or pastures.
|The male Grey Kangaroo is significantly larger than the female and can grow to a size of over 2 meters (measured from Head to Tail). The female normally produces only one young at a time but occassionally, twin young have been recorded.|
For many thousands of years, Aborigines killed Grey Kangaroos for food and skins and, although they would have been the only major predator on these animals, had no significant effect on the large populations. Early European settlers valued the animal as a source of meat and hides, but as land was cleared, native pastures were changed by the impact of domestic stock and improved by human intervention. With the provision of many more watering points, the large Grey Kangaroos often came to be regarded as agricultural pests.
The Australian Museum's Complete Book of Australian Mammals - 1983.
Australia's Wilderness Heritage - Flora & Fauna, 1988.
The Grey Kangaroo appears on the following Australian coins:
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Last modified: 05 December, 2007