Scientific Name: Macropus fuliginosus
In 1806 English navigator Matthew Flinders chose the name ‘Kangaroo Island’ thanks to the abundance of these kangaroos. They are the only species of kangaroo on the island.
The Kangaroo Island kangaroo is found only on Kangaroo Island, off the South Australian Coast. With no natural predators, the kangaroos are the slowest moving kangaroo species. They are closely related to the western grey kangaroo on the nearby mainland, but are typically smaller and sturdier. Their fur is often a darker brown colour and thicker than their mainland relatives. They have dark-brown to black tipped paws and feet. Females grow to 1.5 metres and males to 2 metres.
Kangaroo Island, in thick scrubland and open grassland. They spend most of the day sheltering under scrub, coming out to graze in the early morning and late afternoon in grassy areas, often in small groups.
Grass, herbs and leaves. The kangaroos on the island are so gentle and tame that people sometimes feed them. Human food can be very bad for them, disrupting their digestion and causing malnutrition and poor health.
Kangaroo Island kangaroos can breed at any time of year. A single joey is kept in the pouch and after 7-9 months, the female breeds again. If a new joey is born a month later, the older joey leaves the pouch but continues to suckle until it is 18 months old. At 20 months the kangaroos are mature and can start breeding.