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Australia's Amazing Kangaroos

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Australia's Amazing Kangaroos

Their Conservation, Unique Biology and Coexistence with Humans

Ken Richardson   School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, Murdoch University

Colour photographs, Maps, Line Art
240 pages, 270 x 210 mm
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing

    Paperback - 2012
ISBN: 9780643097391 - AU $ 49.95

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This book provides an authoritative source of information on kangaroos and their relatives. Topics include: species characteristics and biology, adaptations and function, and conservation. The book also discusses culling and the commercial kangaroo harvest, as well as national attitudes to kangaroos and their value for tourism.

There are 71 recognised species of kangaroo found in Australasia. Of these, 46 are endemic to Australia, 21 are endemic to the island of New Guinea, and four species are found in both regions. The various species have a number of common names, including bettong, kangaroo, pademelon, potoroo, quokka, rat kangaroo, rock wallaby, tree kangaroo, wallaby and wallaroo.

Illustrated in full colour, Australia’s Amazing Kangaroos will give readers insight into the world of this intriguing marsupial – an animal that has pride of place on the Australian Coat of Arms.


  • Written in a free and easy style to inform its audience without being too detailed
  • Illustrated in full colour
  • Conservation principles and case studies


1. Species characteristics and biology
2. Adaptations and function
3. Conservation
4. Kangaroos and humans today
Appendix A: Additional guidelines on animal translocations in Australia
Appendix B: Recovery Plan statutory provisions and objectives
Appendix C: Licence application procedures for harvesting kangaroos from Queensland,New South Wales, South Australia and Western Australia

View the full table of contents.

 Wildlife managers
Senior high school and undergraduate tertiary students
General public seeking more detail than is available in a coffee table book
Ecotourism enterprises

 "This is a well written and well presented book. Its acknowledgements are a who's who of Australian mammalogy and the photographs are excellent."
Rob Wallis, The Victorian Naturalist 130(1), 2013, pp 57-58

"The book is extremely well presented in an easy to understand format. It is accompanied by excellent photographs and also addresses the sensitive issues of kangaroo control in an informed manner. Well worth a read."
Maureen Skeet, WA Naturalist News, October 2012, pp 57-58

"If you want just one book on kangaroos on your shelf – and what’s an Australian natural history library without one? – this would be a good choice."
Ian Fraser, Natural History Newsletter, No. 18, October 2012

"I would recommend this book to anyone interested in Australian fauna and wildlife management or those just wishing to be reminded of just how amazing our marsupials really are."
Dr Mark Eldridge, Explore 34(4), Summer 2012, pp 27

"...my new go-to resource for kangaroo, wallaby, potoroo and bettong information... It is easy-reading, well-structured and covers an impressive array of topics. The technical components detailing kangaroo biology, dentition, genetics and evolution are in-depth but readable."
Deborah Metters, Land of Wildlife South East Queensland, July 2013, pp 13

"This book, which is accessible to general readers, will provide a crucial insight in the life of the kangaroos as well as an engaged discussion on the interactions between people and kangaroos, and the controversies about the control of their population numbers... complex and often emotional issues are discussed by Richardson in a smart manner, in the form of a debate, responding point by point to comments for and against"
Sadrine Ladevèze, The Journal of Mammalian Evolution 22, 2015, pp 453-454


 Ken Richardson is a zoologist and veterinarian who has spent most of his academic career at Murdoch University. He has had over 30 years of field experience working on most major groups of vertebrates, including a 20-year ecological study of the honey possum in southern Western Australia. In his work, he has been particularly interested in the anatomical and physiological adaptability of vertebrates that allow them to successfully contend with environmental changes, such as global warming. He has published many scientific papers on the anatomy, physiology, anaesthesia and diseases of several species of kangaroos as well as a book on the biology of crocodiles. He is also an inaugural member of the Animals in the Wild Working Group of the Australian Animal Welfare Strategy.  

Related Titles
 Wildlife Conservation in Farm Landscapes   The Red Kangaroo in Central Australia    Managing the Impacts of Feral Camels across the Rangelands: Results of the Australian Feral Camel Management Project   A Fragile Balance    Australian Wildlife After Dark    Double Helix Issue 05   The Complete Guide to Finding the Mammals of Australia  


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