Little is known about the effect of environmental variables on the nutrition of large numbers of wild kangaroos. Faecal Near Infrared Reflectance Spectroscopy (FNIRS) can predict dietary and non-dietary data on free-ranging deer and cattle and assist with management. Why not other over-abundant species, like kangaroos? I applied FNIRS to kangaroos in drought affected south-east New South Wales to explore dietary and non-dietary information. The data suggests that:
a) Eastern Grey Kangaroos mostly eat high quality ‘green’ feed
b) Eastern Grey Kangaroos start to lose body condition when sufficient ‘green’ feed is unavailable
c) rainfall and subsequent plant growth have a positive effect on body condition,
d) the age and sex of individuals, and abundance of forestomach worms affect body condition
e) pouch young have no effect on body condition, and
f) FNIRS is an effective tool for monitoring over-abundant wild populations, allowing for the early implementation of management options.