THE project to relocate up to 250 kangaroos from Mount Panorama is well underway, with GPS tracking collars now fitted to five kangaroos.
Bathurst Kangaroo Project (BKP) is behind the massive task, thanks to help from 300 volunteers, to move the roos from Mount Panoramas to an area 100 kilometres away.
The large mob of kangaroos were corralled into the old Appleton Orchard on College Road before being relocated to the new site.
Once there, they are kept in a soft-release compound before being progressively released into their new environment.
BKP’s Helen Bergen said the project was going extremely well: “We are very happy with how smooth our protocols and procedures are to maximise safety and wellbeing of our volunteers and our relocated animals.”
To allow the kangaroos to be relocated, each one is darted at Appleton compound before being vet checked, weighed and tagged and then taken to the release site.
The relocation project is the first of its kind, and a licence to conduct the operation was granted through the National Parks and Wildlife Service.
Ms Bergen said because this type of project has never been conducted before, a lot of data is being collected in the process.
“We will be writing up a how-to manual to help add to best-practice knowledge,” she said.
The kangaroo’s GPS collars are also part of this data with information uploaded via satellite to alert the team to any significant changes in the movements of the animals.
“The data provided by these collars alone will be contributing important information to the body of science about kangaroo behaviour in a landscape,” Ms Bergen said.
Multiple cameras have been installed at the release and every relocated kangaroo will receive an ear tag to allow researchers to monitor their dispersal and movement patterns.
Final logistic preparations are now underway for the removal of the remaining animals as quickly and safely as possible once the interim monitoring report has been provided.
“The team is aiming to complete the project before winter sets in,” Ms Bergen said.
“The project is removing the risk of kangaroos being hit by a race car, or on adjacent busy city street, by a factor of around 250 kangaroos.”