Monitoring the fate of translocated eastern grey kangaroos at the Gold Coast
Translocation of common macropodids has recently emerged as a management option for addressing impacts of destruction of their habitat in urban areas. However, little is known of the likely success of such translocations. Eastern grey kangaroos (Macropus giganteus) were translocated from a residential development site at the Gold Coast (Queensland) to a nearby 288 ha council conservation area. Objective criteria were developed as a basis for site selection. Ten adults were radio-tracked for up to a ear after release or until death (if earlier). The majority of the animals soon moved outside the partially fenced conservation area into adjacent vegetated areas, to a distance of up to 6 km. Animals moved in a somewhat random fashion through suitable habitat then, after a variable period of time, generally settled into fairly stable home ranges. Out of the translocated animals, an estimated 80% were still alive four months after release and an estimated 60% were still alive after one year. All surviving animals appeared to be in good condition and health. While the translocation was reasonably successful in the short term, the site is considered far from ideal due to threats associated with urban development in adjacent areas. However, it was very difficult to find a site meeting all the necessary criteria. Capture, release and monitoring were expensive in time and money, especially considering the small number of animals involved. It is concluded that translocation is not likely to be a widely applicable option for dealing effectively with destruction of eastern grey kangaroo habitat, associated with development.
Macropods: the biology of kangaroos, wallabies and rat-kangaroos