What Are the Predators of a Red Kangaroo?

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Red kangaroos thrive in Australia.
Red kangaroos thrive in Australia. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

The red kangaroo is a marsupial that resides in Australia. There is a bountiful population of them in that country. Only the male has reddish fur; the female red kangaroo is gray. Red kangaroos, which live together in groups called mobs, can hop nearly 30 feet forward and reach a peak speed of 35 mph.

Prey

The red kangaroo does not have any prey because it is a herbivore, eating grass and other vegetation exclusively. The red kangaroo, in fact, can survive well for long periods when water is not available because it can extract the moisture that it requires from the vegetation it eats. Red kangaroos tend to live in the dry grassy plains areas of Australia rather than the wetter grasslands, finding the food that they need in the leaner plains environments. Red kangaroos are generally nocturnal feeders.

Dingo

Dingoes are major predators of the red kangaroo, as well as of other wild animals in Australia, such as the gray kangaroo. Dingoes are wild, dog-like creatures. Research studies have demonstrated that red kangaroo populations thrive in controlled, fenced areas that dingoes cannot access, and their population density tends to be much lower outside of the fenced areas. Dingoes also hunt small game, such as rabbits and lizards. They hunt both alone and in packs.

Man

Red kangaroos are not hunted as game by humans. However, people are a predator of the animal because the red kangaroo's search for food frequently intrudes on humans' designs for land. In particular, red kangaroo are sometimes shot when they graze on the lands of sheep farmers, eating the grass and other vegetation that sheep farmers intend for their sheep, or damage other farmers' crops. The sheep farmers use fencing to keep out dingoes, which are predators for their sheep, but the red kangaroos' exceptional leaping abilities means they can jump over most farmers' fences.

Tasmanian Devils, Eagles and Foxes

The nearly extinct Tasmanian Devil is a long-time predator of the red kangaroo, but its current scarcity makes its interest in the animal little more than a footnote. The Tasmanian Devil, which is known for its aggressive, hostile behavior, became susceptible to a form of face cancer that killed thousands of the animal in the 1990s. Eagles and foxes do not prey on adult red kangaroos, but they sometimes eat young, growing red kangaroos, which are called joeys.

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