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Repairing the infrastructure of Tasmania's parks

19/08/2016

The flood and storm events in June and July of this year had a significant impact on Tasmania's iconic national parks and reserves, and the current damage bill is expected to exceed $6.4 million.More

Festival of Bright Ideas

05/08/2016

As part of the celebration of the centenary of Tasmania's national parks, and in conjunction with National Science Week, a four day community event showcasing science, culture, food, tourism, music, innovation and health is being held on the West Coast.More

Join us for the Power of Parks forum at Launceston

22/07/2016

Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service (PWS) in partnership with the University of Tasmania is exploring The Power of Parks through a series of UTAS public forums celebrating the benefits that parks and reserves provide to Tasmania's overall identify.More

Forester (Eastern grey) Kangaroo, Macropus giganteus

Description

Forester kangaroo

The Forester kangaroo is the largest marsupial in Tasmania and the second largest in the world -- males can reach over 60 kg and, when literally on tippy toes, stand 2 m tall! Colour varies from light brownish grey to grey. They have relatively large ears and differ from the other two species in having hair between the nostrils and upper lip. They often make clucking sounds between themselves and give a guttural cough when alarmed.

Distribution

The species is common on mainland Australia, where it is commonly known as the grey kangaroo. In many areas of the mainland, the clearing of bushland, creation of improved pasture and provision of farm dams has upset the natural balance in favour of increased macropod numbers. However, in Tasmania during the 1950s and 60s, the population of Forester kangaroos was reduced to 15% of its previous level.

The Forester kangaroo is restricted to northeastern Tasmania and small areas in central Tasmania. The Mt William National Park in the northeast provides the opportunity to see these animals along 'Forester Drive'. A drive, or stroll along this road at dusk is most rewarding. The Forester has also been introduced to Maria Island National Park and Narawntapu National Park. Preferred habitat is dry sclerophyll forest with open grassland clearings.

Diet and behaviour

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Foresters often feed during the day, but mostly in the early morning and evening. Grasses and forbs comprise the diet. Forester kangaroos are partially social animals that are usually seen in family groups of three or four, but may occur in loosely associated mobs of more than ten. Like all macropods, the Forester kangaroo moves by hopping. At moderate speeds, such a form of locomotion is more energy efficient than quadrupedal running.

Breeding

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.

The species is wholly protected in Tasmania.