What do they look like? The Eastern Grey Kangaroo has a grey-brown head and body with a grey white belly. The tail is grey-brown with a black tip. Males are larger than females. The fur is long and soft and varies from grey-brown to dark grey in both sexes. Adult males can weigh up to 70kgs. and females to 35 kgs.
Where do they live? Eastern Grey Kangaroos are found in the eastern half of the continent from Cape York to Victoria and Tasmania. It is a woodland, forest edge species, moving at night from locations of dense shelter to graze on short green pastures. At times the Grey Kangaroo may forage in amongst snow.
What do they eat? Eastern Greys are herbivorous and graze on a variety of native and introduced grasses. They prefer short green pasture.
Behaviour: Eastern Grey Kangaroos are the most social of the kangaroos so it is rare to see one out alone. Most kangaroos are crepuscular, being active around dawn and dusk. They often have special sites particularly in loose dusty soil, where they lie during the heat of the day. Grey and Red Kangaroos move about in small groups. When food is abundant, large mobs of kangaroos may be seen.
Reproduction: A single alpha male has dominion over a mob of females with tenure usually for a year. The female does not mate immediately after birth but may mate while there is young in the pouch. The resulting embryo will remain in diapause while the mother is lactating. The reproductive biology of the Greys is much slower than that of the Red Kangaroo so that young of a comparable size permanently exit the pouch at around 320 days compared to the Red at 235 days. Greys are weaned at 540 days while for the Red Kangaroo weaning is at about 360 days.
Threats: There are not any major threats to the Eastern Grey Kangaroo, and the species has often benefitted from human activity, expanding its range where artificial watering holes have been provided for livestock. In many areas, the species is regarded as a pest, and is shot under licence and also hunted commercially for its meat and leather.
Conservation Status: Hunting and commercial harvesting are controlled under a range of management plans which aim to maintain kangaroo populations and manage them as a renewable resource, while attempting to address the conflicts with agriculture.