Red Kangaroo (Osphranter Rufus), Antilopine Kangaroo (Osphranter Antilopinus), Eastern Grey Kangaroo (Macropus Giganteus), Western Grey Kangaroo (Macropus Fuliginosus)
The kangaroo is a marsupial from the family Macropodidae (meaning "large foot"). The term kangaroo is used to describe the largest species from this family, the red kangaroo, as well as the antilopine kangaroo, eastern grey kangaroo, and western grey kangaroo.
Kangaroos are indigenous to Australia and New Guinea. It is estimated that 42.8 million kangaroos lived within the commercial harvest areas of Australia in 2019, down from 53.2 million in 2013.
Kangaroos have large, powerful hind legs, large feet adapted for leaping, a long muscular tail for balance, and a small head. Female kangaroos have a pouch called a marsupium in which joeys complete postnatal development.
Because of its grazing habits, the kangaroo has developed specialized teeth that are rare among mammals. Its incisors are able to crop grass close to the ground and its molars chop and grind the grass.
The IUCN classifies each species of kangaroo of “Least Concern.” However, habitat loss and human activities have led to a decrease in population size of several species.
Humans are the primary threat to kangaroos, as they hunt the animal for its meat and hide. Other human activities also pose a threat to kangaroos. As human activity increases, kangaroo habitat decreases. Therefore, human-kangaroo conflicts are more common.
Kangaroos face few natural predators, aside from humans and wild dogs called dingoes. Heat, drought, and hunger due to vanishing habitat are among the largest threats to kangaroos.