SPECIES MACROPUS FULIGINOSUS FULIGINOSUS
Kangaroo Island kangaroos are one of the most placid kangaroos, by nature. As an island species they don’t have predators like kangaroos on the mainland and therefore they are slower in moving and more trusting by nature. They are a highly social species, living in mobs with a dominant male as a leader. The species is a medium size macropod, with thick dark fur and very strong and stocky. Kangaroo island is a lush environment, so this species of macropod is not subject to the potential food shortages which can affect other kangaroo species in harsher environments. This is the believed to be the reason why Kangaroo Island kangaroo have NOT developed the amazing adaptation known as ‘diapause’, where mothers can essentially put embryo development on hold if necessary, depending on their environment.
Their diet in the wild consists of grass, native plants, herbs and leaves. Kangaroo island kangaroo can breed all year round, with a 30-35 day gestation. A single joey is kept in the pouch for approximately 7-9 months, before the female can breed again. If the joey is born a month later, the older joey leaves the pouch but continues to suckle until 18 months old. They can start to breed at two years.
The first western greys came from Kangaroo Island, which was named by Matthew Flinders while exploring the southeast coast in his ship, Investigator. A number of these kangaroos were captured and taken back to Paris, spending their life in a French zoological garden. It was there that they were described as the type animal known as the western grey kangaroo Macropus Fuliginosus!