National Kangaroo Awareness Day Date in the current year: October 24, 2024

National Kangaroo Awareness Day Australian fauna is vastly different from that of the rest of the world. For example, about 70% of all marsupials are native to the Australian continent. National Kangaroo Awareness Day celebrates one of the most recognizable Australian marsupials.

Kangaroos are four marsupial species from the family Macropodidae that also includes pademelons, tree-kangaroos, quokkas, wallabies, and wallaroos. They are the antelope kangaroo, eastern gray kangaroo, red kangaroo, and western red kangaroo.

The most distinctive features of kangaroos are their large, powerful hind legs and feet, and their long muscular tail, which can be almost as long as the rest of a kangaroo’s body. Kangaroos are the only large animals that use hopping as their primary means of locomotion.

Along with koalas, kangaroos are widely regarded as the most recognizable symbols of Australia. A kangaroo is even depicted on the coat of arms of Australia. Kangaroos have also appeared on coins, various emblems and logos, as well as featured in Australian sports teams names.

Kangaroo meat has been an important food source for indigenous Australians for tens of thousands of years. Today, Australia exports kangaroo meat to over 60 overseas markets. Kangaroos are not farmed for meat; all kangaroo meat is sourced from wild animals.

In theory, the kangaroo meat industry is a by-product of a kangaroo population control program. Kangaroos are hunted by licensed shooters in approved zones to keep their population under control in a sustainable way. However, some animal rights activists from Australia and countries that import kangaroo meat (primarily the United States and the United Kingdom) have criticized the practice as cruel, unnecessary, and unsustainable. Another danger that kangaroos face is collision with vehicles; kangaroos are involved in 90% of all animal collisions in Australia.

One of the main goals of National Kangaroo Awareness Day is to raise awareness of kangaroo hunting and the plight of kangaroos in the wild. It was launched by Friends of Mother Earth Incorporated, an environmental organization dedicated to protecting and conserving native habitat and wildlife. As of 2022, its main focus was on educating and advocating for kangaroos.

You can join the celebration of National Kangaroo Awareness Day by learning more about these amazing animals, attending a National Kangaroo Awareness Day event (there are plenty of virtual events, so you don’t even have to live in Australia or near a zoo that has kangaroos), donating to People Against Hunting Kangaroos or another kangaroo conservation and awareness organization, and spread the word on social media with the hashtags #NationalKangarooAwarenessDay and #KangarooAwarenessDay.

National Kangaroo Awareness Day isn’t the only holiday dedicated to Australian marsupials. For example, Save the Koala Day is observed on the last Friday of September to highlight the importance of koala conservation, and Wombat Day is observed on October 22 to raise awareness of the conservation status of wombats.

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National Kangaroo Awareness Day, holidays in Australia, environmental observances, kangaroo hunting, kangaroos