In this guide, we’ll answer the question:
“What eats kangaroos?”
First, you’ll find a short summary of what animals eat kangaroos in the wild and then get a detailed list of kangaroo predators.
Kangaroos are a marsupial from the family Macropodidae in the order Diprotodontia and are indigenous to Australia and New Guinea.
There are four extant species of kangaroos: red kangaroo, eastern grey kangaroo, western grey kangaroo, and antilopine kangaroo. Fun fact: intermediate-sized kangaroos are called “wallaroos” and smaller kangaroos are called “wallabies”.
The average lifespan of a kangaroo is 6 years.
What Eats Kangaroos?
Animals that eat kangaroos include dingoes, foxes, wedge-tailed eagles, wild dogs, Tasmanian tigers, and humans. A kangaroo has few natural predators but falls prey to certain species that get past its defense mechanisms.
Dingoes are Australia’s largest extant terrestrial predators that eats kangaroos.
A dingo is an opportunistic hunter that prefers hunting in groups, especially when its target prey is large mammals like kangaroos.
When hunting a kangaroo as a pack, lead dingoes will chase the prey to the paths of the packmates which rely on their ability to cut corners in chases to capture the exhausted kangaroo.
Foxes are skilled and opportunistic hunters. And in Queensland, Australia, foxes are primarily carnivorous with a diet comprising rodents, frogs, birds, insects, rabbits, and kangaroos.
The red fox in particular hunts young kangaroos (called a joey) because they are easier to kill than fully-grown adults.
Even though kangaroos have stunning adaptations to protect themselves from predators, they quickly get exhausted during a chase. On the other hand, foxes can maintain their top speed longer than their prey to kill them.
Wedge-tailed eagles are the largest birds of prey in Australia with a wingspan of up to 2.5 meters. And they are known animals that eat kangaroos, especially joeys.
According to the Australian Museum, “Under ideal conditions, an eagle can lift about 50% of its body weight.” This allows a wedge-tailed eagle to carry away young kangaroos, feed on them, and then cache the remains on a branch near the nest.
Wild dogs are the most successful hunters among predatory mammals, with a success rate of about 80%.
The vast majority of a wild dog’s diet comprises mammals such as kangaroos; mostly young joeys because of the inability to defend themselves.
However, when hunting in packs, wild dogs can kill larger kangaroos.
The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development Agriculture and Food Division of Western Australia confirmed in an article on wild dog facts that “In many parts of WA, kangaroos and emus feature prominently in the diet.”
Tasmanian Tigers, also known as the thylacine, were primary wallabies and kangaroo predators.
The Tasmanian tiger is an extinct carnivorous marsupial that was native to the Australian mainland and the islands of Tasmania and Papua New Guinea. According to the National Museum of Australia, the Tasmanian tiger was declared extinct in 1936.
Kangaroo meat was legalized for human consumption in South Australia in 1980.
Since then, humans have become the main threat to the kangaroo population because they are hunted for their meat and hides.
The Australian Department of Agriculture, Water, and the Environment regulates the export activities of the kangaroo meat and reports in this document: “Around 3% of Australia’s 50 million kangaroos are used for meat production each year. Only four species of kangaroo are permitted for commercial harvesting for meat export: red kangaroo, eastern grey kangaroo, western grey kangaroo, and common wallaroo.”
What Do Kangaroos Eat?
Kangaroos are herbivores that must eat vegetation to survive.
You can visit our other guide on what do kangaroos eat to find out more about what these marsupials feed on for nutrition.
Animals That Eat Kangaroos Summary
You now know what eats kangaroos in the wild and which species are the top kangaroo predators.
As you discovered in this guide, there are about 6 animals that eat kangaroos in nature. And the inability to fend off attacks from strong predators makes them suitable prey for those animals.
I’m the lead editor and writer for Animal Answer Guide. I enjoy sharing expert knowledge on the various characteristics of common species within the five distinct groups of animals: amphibians, birds, fish, mammals, and reptiles.