People and Eastern Grey Kangaroos generally live in harmony in Anglesea.
These well-known Australian native animals can often be seen grazing on roadside verges, in people’s back yards and in greater density on the Anglesea Golf Club. The kangaroo population has become urbanised and the animals live mostly in the built environment with many moving back and forwards to the golf course. They have adapted to proximity to people and buildings. The community is invited to participate in citizen science by sharing records of tagged sightings.
Beck and Beckham
Angair has been a strong member of the Kangaroo Advisory Group (KAG) that was established in 2003 to address concerns regarding possible conflict and potential risk to people. In 2004 the Zoology department at the University of Melbourne offered assistance in preparing a management plan which has given KAG guidance over the years. Students have carried out valuable research under the guidance of Dr Graeme Coulson. In 2015 KAG approached Angair to be the auspice body for the group.
In June this year Graeme delivered a presentation, sharing his passion for kangaroos, his knowledge of the animals, and a summary of the research carried out over many years.
Did you know that?
The highest number of kangaroos appears on the golf course in summer with 250-300 kangaroos compared with 150-200 in winter. Male kangaroos leave the golf course during winter to hang out with their mates and so are more often killed on the roads as they venture about. Of the adult kangaroos that were tagged on the golf course between 2007 and 2014, 50% of the 68 tagged males and 20% of the 143 tagged females were found killed on the roads. Females were killed closer to the golf course and males much further afield. Seventy-three percent of these road kills occurred in autumn/winter. Of course, there were many other road kills of untagged kangaroos so the tally would be more than double that.
Kangaroos breed in summer with a gestation period of just 36 days. Female kangaroos have two teats but each joey uses its own teat. Joeys first leave the pouch at seven or eight months of age. At 10 to 11 months the young joey leaves the pouch permanently but continues to feed from outside the pouch using the same teat that it suckled as a tiny joey. The mother kangaroo can then become pregnant with a new offspring. After about 18 months the mother weans the first youngster, which then has to fend for itself.
Survival of juveniles is low, with 54% mortality in the first two years of their life due to foxes, dogs, confused joeys that can’t find their mother, inability to cope with the cold weather, and parasitic infestations.
Angair thanks Graeme for his excellent presentation and is proud to be a supportive KAG member.