Forester Kangaroo

   Macropus giganteus tasmaniensis

Macropus giganteus tasmaniensis

The Forester kangaroo is the largest marsupial in Tasmania (restricted to northeastern Tasmania and small areas in central Tasmania) and the second largest in the world. Colour varies from light brownish-grey to grey. They have a thicker tail than other macropods and have relatively large ears. They often make clucking sounds between themselves and give a guttural cough when alarmed. The species is common on mainland Australia, where it is commonly known as the grey kangaroo. The main difference between the wallaby and the kangaroo is in size – as measured by their feet.

Breeding

Sexual maturity is reached at 1-1/2 to two years. Births occur throughout the year, with a peak in the summer. Gestation is 36 days. Pouch life lasts 11 months and weaning occurs at 18 months.

Behaviour

Preferred habitat is open grassy forests and woodlands of northeastern and central Tasmania. Forester kangaroos are social animals that are usually seen in family groups of three or four but may occur in loosely associated mobs of more than ten. They become active in the morning and at sundown when they move to and from their nocturnal feeding grounds. Kangaroos have exceptional hearing, but by comparison, have poor eyesight. The sound of a motor vehicle will frequently startle the animal causing it to bolt in any direction in a panicky attempt to escape the noise, whilst the dazzling brilliance of a car’s headlights will momentarily blind the animal into immobility. To diminish the chance of collision motorists should reduce their speed, at the times mentioned (dusk and dawn), and proceed with caution. Particular care should be taken where the road narrows into a ‘pass’ between hilly areas, or where timbered country comes close to the edge of the road. These areas are the most likely places for animals to cross from one side to the other.

Diet

Foresters will feed during the day, but mostly in the early morning and evening. Grasses and forbs comprise the diet.

Status

Secure. The Forester kangaroo is protected wildlife.