Home » Australian Red Kangaroos Under Threat? Read How Dingos and Fences Impact Them

Australian Red Kangaroos Under Threat? Read How Dingos and Fences Impact Them

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Australian Red Kangaroos Under Threat

Kangaroos, the national animals of Australia, are the most loved and efficient kickboxers of all time. The red kangaroos, the biggest of all, are primarily known for their muscular hind legs. They can cover up to 30 feet or 9 meters in a single leap.

Australian Red Kangaroos Characteristics

Australian red kangaroos are the size of a jelly bean at birth and can grow up to 8 feet or 2.4 meters. Their body consists of pure muscle that accounts for 50% of their weight. Hence, they are naturally muscular. 

This type of kangaroo is exceptionally huge, having long, pointed ears and a square-shaped muzzle (snout/nose). The short, reddish-brown fur on the males’ limbs and underbelly fades to a pale buff color as they mature sexually. 

Although females in dry zones are more similar to males in coloration, females are smaller than males and are blue-gray with a hint of brown. It has two clawed forelimbs, two jumping hind limbs, and a strong tail that it frequently utilizes to stand upright like a tripod.

Australian Red Kangaroos Under Threat?

But these kick-boxers risk becoming critically endangered or even extinct if introduced animals, such as dingos (a type of fox), grow in population.

Although an Australian red kangaroo is much bigger than a fox as an adult, joeys (or newborn kangaroos), are simpler to catch due to their smaller size.

The entire red kangaroo population could become smaller and on the verge of extinction if dingos consume many joeys.

Why Were Dingos Introduced In The First Place?

In the middle of the nineteenth century, European settlers brought red foxes to Australia. They were allowed to roam free so that they could go hunting, which was a well-liked pastime at the time.

They quickly multiplied, and the population increased. Because there were so many of them and they were killing native Australian species, they came to be seen as a pest over most of Australia.

Although the young and female Australian red kangaroos are the favorite meal of dingos, they are still listed as ‘Least concern’ on the IUCN red list.

What Is The IUCN Red List?

IUCN, whose full form is the International Union for Conservation of Nature, frequently forms a red list of threatened species. It is the most thorough source of information on the extinction risk of plants, fungi, and animals. Based on several assessment criteria, assessors classify species into one of the IUCN Red List Categories.

However, the Australian government has a fence that protects their native animal species from its predators.

How Does Fence Work?

According to earlier studies, sampling the kangaroos on either side of the barrier revealed more within the fence than outside. Inside the fence, young people and women were more prevalent in particular.

The scientists hypothesize that Australian red kangaroos living outside the fence develop faster than those within to more quickly reach the weight range where they are vulnerable to dingoes. The pressure to mature swiftly may have been eliminated, causing those inside the fence to grow more slowly.

Whether this variation between the kangaroos is a temporary response to a change in predation pressure or whether it could be proof of a heritable genetic mutation is yet unknown. The team is hopeful that additional studies will clarify this.

While experts anticipate that both kangaroo populations will endure changes in predation if the fence were ever removed, more susceptible native species might not fare as well. If the dingo is permitted to return to southeast Australia, it will be possible to better manage the wildlife by looking for indicators of similar developmental changes in these species.


  1. https://www.kidsnews.com.au/animals/scientists-use-ai-to-save-red-kangaroos-from-foxes/news-story/66eb6de9ac0dedb5914a26b8eb8ad39e
  2. https://www.nhm.ac.uk/discover/news/2023/june/worlds-longest-fence-affecting-development-kangaroos.html 

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