The Diurnal and Seasonal Patterns of Grazing of the Red Kangaroo, Macropus-Rufus, and the Western Gray-Kangaroo, Macropus-Fuliginosus
Australian Wildlife Research
13(2) 113 - 120
Free-ranging red and western grey kangaroos were fitted with radio transmitters which, when the kangaroo grazed, emitted a pulse rate different to that emitted during other activities. Red kangaroos grazed for between 7.1 and 10.5 h day-1; western grey kangaroos grazed for between 5.9 and 9.8 h day-1 . Red kangaroos grazed for the same amount of time each season despite fourfold changes in pasture biomass. The grazing time of western grey kangaroos was similar in autumn, winter and spring, but decreased by 22% in summer when pasture was most abundant. Males of both species grazed for about an hour longer than females each day. Most grazing (78% for red kangaroos; 86% for western grey kangaroos) took place between sunset and sunrise. The distribution of grazing activity with respect to time of day was bimodal; kangaroos grazed for extensive periods during the 6 h immediately after sunset and again during the few hours before and after sunrise. The time of grazing changed seasonally and these changes were associated with differences in daylength.
Full text doi:10.1071/WR9860113
© CSIRO 1986