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Kangaroos: The Majestic Marsupials From Down Under
Transcript of Kangaroos: The Majestic Marsupials From Down Under
They have two large eyes on the side of their head to avoid predators, and a short snout with a strong sense of smell. This is vital because after a joey is born, it must smell its way into its mother's pouch which provides an environment for the baby kangaroo to grow until it is mature. What About its Habitat? It is well-known that kangaroos are native to Australia. Its habitat is traditionally bushlands and woods, but this creature is very good at adapting to Australia's ever-changing landscape, due to humans' destruction. Kangaroos have now adapted to living in scrublands, coastal heatlands, forests, and grasslands. Here, it grazes on young leaves and shoots of grass trees and plants. Kangaroos occasionally drink water, but can go very long periods of time without water. Kangaroos are Fantastic,
What Could Possibly Want to Harm Them? Well, actually, kangaroos have several predators, including dingoes--a type of Australian free-roaming dog--, feral cats and dogs, and foxes. Fortunately though, kangaroos' main predator, the thylacine or Tasmanian tiger, is now extinct. Because kangaroos are herbivores, and are primary consumers, it is close to the bottom of the food chain, with only plants beneath it. However, it is close to the top of the energy pyramid, giving it plenty of energy to hop around.
One of the dangers kangaroos have to face is the destruction of their habitats by humans. Construction and resource harvesting leads to the decrease habitat of the kangaroo, and causes a decrease in total kangaroo population. Natural causes like fires and drought are also a factor to the decline of amount of grasslands for kangaroos to live in.
Another problem kangaroos struggle with is hunting. Kangaroos have been hunted by those indigenous to Australia since the 18th century. Kangaroos are killed for skin and meat and are imported to over 55 countries. In 2002, 7 million kangaroos were shot by hunters. If this hunting and habitat destruction does not cease, kangaroos will be extinct in the near future. Most kangaroos species are endangered, and it has been observed by naturalists that kangaroos have begun decreasing at an alarming rate over the last three years. They also said that in 20 to 30 years, kangaroos of all species' habitats could be reduced by up to 40 percent.
However, kangaroos are also a problem to wildlife themselves. They can cause damage to fences, compete with other organisms like livestock for water and grazing, and can ruin crops by grazing on them and trampling them. Some kangaroos threaten or harass humans in picnic areas for food because they have become used to being fed by people. Why are Kangaroos Important? Kangaroos are important because they are a vital role in an Australian grassland food web. Without them, grass and small plants would grow rapidly, and not have a way for its population to reduce. Kangaroos also provide food for its predators: feral cats and dogs, foxes, and dingoes. With the kangaroo, the buffer between producers and secondary consumers would be empty, and the food web would not function properly. Kangaroos also provide meat and fur to idigenous Australians. Food Web!