AROUND 300 kangaroos that were relocated from Bathurst have just become a significant problem of a neighbouring local council area, residents say.
Bathurst Kangaroo Project (BKP) was a hard-fought for initiative that was run by volunteers, with the support of Bathurst Regional Council, to relocate kangaroos away from the race track and a College Road orchard that was to be cleared.
The kangaroos were rounded up from the Mount Panorama precinct and the Western Advocate can now reveal, relocated to Capertee Valley in the Lithgow LGA.
During the relocation, organisers refused say where the tagged roos were being relocated to, other than to say it was around 100 kilometres away.
Now, Capertee Valley residents say Bathurst’s problem has become their problem with roos dispersing across the region and competing with stock for food.
Lyn and Bruce Richardson said their 3500 acre grazing property has been impacted by the “secretive” relocation of kangaroos.
“We live totally off our land, this is our livelihood – cattle, sheep and horses,” she said. “They [BKP] have no regard for our livelihood. How dare they shift this problem.”
Mrs Richardson said her farm was already in drought conditions and they were handfeeding stock and the roos are competing with the little feed that is available.
Prior to the relocation she said the existing kangaroos were already a problem with regular culls being undertaken to reduced numbers.
They have no regard for our livelihood. How dare they shift this problem.Lyn Richardson
Mrs Richardson claims some tagged roos have been hit and killed on the road, while others have been shot on private land.
Another resident Tracey Isaacson said she counted eight tagged roos in a mob of 10 on her land.
“The entire project reeks of inaccuracies and unprofessional claims,” she said.
“It is simply a debacle with no winners, especially the kangaroos.”
Bathurst Kangaroo Project co-ordinator Helen Bergen and ecologist Ray Mjadwesch are behind the relocation and say the roos were relocated to an 800 hectare block of land with the owner’s permission.
Following an initial hold period in a temporary compound, Ms Bergen said the roos were then released expected to “stay in one place with set patterns of behaviour in and out of habitat within a home territory”.
She denied that roos compete with grazing stock and said the release site had “plenty of feed”.
“The science is quite clear that kangaroos do not present competition for stock, except during drought which is fast approaching,” Ms Bergen said.
She said the relocation ended “months ago” and all roos were tagged to allow for scientific data to continue to be collected.
“It is an irony that if those kangaroos were not ear-tagged no-one would have noticed,” Ms Bergen said.
She said, however, in spring male kangaroos can disperse looking for females.