Powerful native grazers
If you see a kangaroo that has a finely haired muzzle, this is a Western Grey Kangaroo (Macropus fuliginosus ocydromus), known as Yongka in the Noongar language. Western Grey Kangaroos are found across the southern part of Australia and are common in remnant bush in Perth. They are one of the largest and most abundant of all kangaroos, growing 1.2m tall, with a 1m long tail that is used for balance and to steer.1
The males are much bigger than the females and can weigh up to 70 kilograms (females weigh up to 34 kilograms).1 Males also have a very strong odour, which is why they are known as ‘stinkers.’ 2
Western Grey Kangaroos are not all grey. They have light grey-brown to chocolate coloured fur, with pale grey white underneath and a dark face, sometimes with white markings on their forehead. 3
Photos: Naomi Rakela.
They graze on grasses, herbs and native shrubs. Western Grey Kangaroos are often seen in ‘mobs’ of three and have overlapping home ranges of 30-200 hectares. They rest in the shade during the day and are on the move from dusk to dawn.1
They breed from late November to early February. Joeys leave the pouch when they are around 10 months old, but keep suckling outside the pouch for up to another 6 months. Unlike other kangaroos, they know when there is a drought and stop breeding when conditions are dry.1
The Western Grey Kangaroo is the most vocal of all the large kangaroo species. Mothers communicate to the joeys through a series of soft clicks, and when defensive, they growl in a manner similar to a dog.4
Distribution map of the Western Grey Kangaroo.
Map: Department of Parks and Wildlife.
Photos: Naomi Rakela