ABSTRACT

The interaction between Eastern Grey Kangaroos (Macropus giganteus) and humans in peri-urban locations is one that excites great passion between conflicting views. Are the kangaroos a problem pest or a diminishing icon? And where conflicts occur between kangaroos, threatened species and ecological communities, and human activities, what is the most acceptable approach to management? A case study to examine this question has been provided by Bathurst Regional Council for the management of the population of Eastern Grey Kangaroos on Mount Panorama, on the doorstep of Bathurst, NSW. In this precinct there are concerns that there may be a collision between a kangaroo and a very fast racing car and that large numbers of kangaroos will have an impact on the survival of an Endangered Ecological Community and agricultural activities on the Mount.

In the first instance Bathurst Council enabled the culling of 140 kangaroos and this brought international condemnation. Council then contracted for the development of a Fauna Management Strategy for the Mount but this has not been fully accepted by Council nor implemented. The most recent approach, when Council disturbed the resident kangaroos by clearing a senescent orchard for further development, was resolved by using a community group to relocate at least 300 kangaroos to a location some 100 km to the east. At the time of the relocation this location was in drought and disoriented kangaroos were killed on the road. No information is available for the survival rate of the relocated individuals nor their behaviour post-release. Neither the culling not the relocation of resident Eastern Grey Kangaroos has provided a long-term resolution to the peri-urban conflict between kangaroos and humans on Mount Panorama. Killing is not the answer, neither is relocation. The implementation of the Management Strategy has the potential to provide an intermediate approach.

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