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Red Kangaroo (Macropus rufus) Fact Sheet: Distribution & Habitat

Red Kangaroo (Macropus rufus)


  • Wide distribution in arid areas of inland Australia (Dawson 1995)
  • Red kangaroos do not live north of latitude 14° S because the climate is too wet
  • Range has increased since 1800 due to human activities (Tyndale-Biscoe 2005)
    • Irrigation and providing water for livestock (which kangaroos use as well)
    • Clearing woodland for livestock and agriculture (makes new open spaces kangaroos can use)
  • Red kangaroos share habitats with eastern grey and western grey kangaroos in eastern New South Wales (Tyndale-Biscoe 2005)


  • Preferred habitats: open grassy plains with scattered trees for shade and shelter (Dawson 1995)
  • Other habitats used
    • Mulga and mallee scrub
    • Saltbush shrubland
    • Arid grassland
    • Desert
  • Tolerate extreme heat
    • Temperature at one study site in New South Wales: 44.4° C (111° F)

Red Kangaroo Distribution

Red Kangaroo distribution

Red kangaroos are found through much of Australia.

Adapted from according to IUCN fact sheet. Click here or on map for detailed distribution (IUCN).

Page Citations

Dawson (1995)
Tyndale-Biscoe (2005)

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