Help us save 150 Kangaroos
If you are a first time visitor, thanks for your interest. Please check out the updates as well as this main page to see where the project is up to. We hope you find this project worth supporting.
If you are already a supporter – thank you. Your donations are essential to this project's success.
Mount Panorama in Bathurst, New South Wales, Australia is home to a world famous motor racing track - and a mob of 150 Eastern Grey Kangaroos about to be made homeless.
The kangaroos’ habitat is being destroyed by Bathurst Regional Council who purchased the site last year. They are developing it to service the internationally famous Mount Panorama racing track.
The removal of the kangaroos’ habitat leaves just two options:
Leave 150 displaced kangaroos to panic and die on the adjacent race track and on city streets as they did earlier in the year
SAVE THE KANGAROOS!
A team of NGOs and volunteers under the coordination of scientist Ray Mjadwesch and with the support of The Bathurst Kangaroo Project is preparing to tranquilise and move the kangaroos to a safe release site in the largest licensed relocation effort in New South Wales EVER.
This massive volunteer effort will provide a solution for Bathurst Council and the kangaroos, and will also establish a groundbreaking conservation model for communities around Australia to use in the future.
This project is being organised and run by volunteers with the support and cooperation of landowners, local businesses and state NGOs, and with the support of NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service and The Bathurst Regional Council. The project goal is not only to safely relocate the 150 threatened Eastern Grey Kangaroos, but also to learn from the process and to provide other communities with the information needed to save kangaroos instead of just shooting them.
The scale and scope of this undertaking is overwhelming. Not only will out of town experts and volunteers need room and board during the two week project, but everything from temporary fencing, fuel, veterinary medical supplies and communications equipment has been or will need to be purchased - and the list just keeps growing. The funds raised here will be used to help cover the costs that are already planned for, as well as the unforeseen expenses inevitably associated with such a massive undertaking.
A volunteer organised and volunteer funded effort of this magnitude is unheard of.
This project is incredibly worthwhile.
Hopefully, you agree and find it worth supporting.
(Updated November 21, 2016)
The relocation effort was originally scheduled to begin in late September 2016, with the aim of completing the process before the October V8 Supercar race at Mt. Panorama during the first weekend of October. The racetrack and its campgrounds sit directly adjacent to the western and northern boundaries of the kangaroos’ orchard habitat.
In consultation with the The NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service , a decision was made to temporarily delay that late September start date due to rain and site conditions. This was a disappointing decision, as volunteers had committed time and extensive logistical arrangements had been made.
However, minimising risks to kangaroos and participants is the priority at every step in both the planning and execution of this relocation. A new start date was proposed to NPWS for mid October after the race, so rescheduling the volunteers, darters and kangaroo medics could begin.
Due to the disturbance created by the International V8 Supercar Race in October, as well as on-going disturbances in adjacent landscapes since, the kangaroos have been retreating into the soon-to-be-destroyed kangaroo habitat, which is an old apple orchard providing surrogate habitat of open tree cover and grassy understorey, and which is isolated from other kangaroo habitat by developed urban environments and cleared paddocks/farms.
Temporary fencing has been erected around this habitat creating a safe compound which is being used to hold and protect the kangaroos pending the NPWS permits.
As of late November 2016, it has been over 60 days since the Bathurst Kangaroo Project volunteers started checking the compound every morning before dawn and every evening, opening fencing to let stragglers into the enclosure to join their mob, which has now increased to over the original 150 kangaroos.
There are just a handful of remaining kangaroos in the landscape who flee at any sign of humans, so the team quietly continues their twice-daily check to give an opportunity for those remaining animals to join the mob in the compound.
NPWS advises that they are still waiting for final feedback from the RSPCA, and Bathurst Kangaroo Project volunteers and the other project organizers are encouraging NPWS to exercise the urgency promised in August to finalise the license to start relocating the kangaroos. In the meantime the animals are happy, healthy and safe in the compound, with plenty of room, grass and shelter. Monthly costs for hire of the fencing, however, are accumulating.
When the relocation effort begins, individual kangaroos will be tranquilized by a volunteer team of licensed expert wildlife darters and each unconscious kangaroo will be examined, weighed, measured and ear-tagged by volunteer scientists, medics and veterinary personnel.
They will then be transported to their new wild home, a property of over 800ha, where they will be undisturbed by people or vehicles for the rest of their lives.
A slow and steady approach is necessary to minimise stress and maximize the health and welfare of each animal. The current goal from start to finish is 14 days.
The data collected during the entire project will be made available to the scientific community at large with the aim of providing other communities the information needed to determine the feasibility of similar relocation efforts in the future.
Lead scientist Raymond Mjadwesch is managing this project pro-bono with the help of The Bathurst Kangaroo Project and updates will be posted on The Bathurst Kangaroo Project's Facebook Page. The Bathurst Kangaroo Project is a collaborative science & research project supporting informed solutions for coexistence between kangaroos & communities. Their goal is to demonstrate and encourage co-beneficial human-kangaroo interactions based on robust science and inclusive community input. This project is a demonstration of their commitment to finding unique solutions to challenging human-kangaroo interactions.
Rahamim Ecology Centre is a community partner with the Bathurst Kangaroo Project. Karen Rowland and Sally Neaves from Rahamin and Tom Porter in Los Angeles are running this fundraising effort. They can be reached through this GoFundMe page, or through Rahamim's website.
The Bathurst community should be congratulated on their support for this groundbreaking project. The standard response to wildlife impacted by development generally is to ignore and/or destroy the wildlife.
The NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service and Bathurst Regional Council’s support of this relocation effort is an important precedent which deserves recognition. You can express your support by contacting NPWS Bathurst and Bathurst Regional Council.
The Bathurst Harness Racing Club has been instrumental in getting this proposal to work, and we appreciate their continued support and partnership.
Mr Bruce Bolam was an original supporter of the effort to relocate the kangaroos of Mt Panorama. Everyone associated with this effort is saddened by his sudden passing , and wishes deepest sympathy and strength to his family and friends.
You can also contact the local Bathurst newspaper, The Western Advocate, to voice your support for the Bathurst community choosing to lead the way in this non-lethal solution for dealing with our iconic wildlife.
COSTS AND VALUE
Council will invest a reported $6.5 million to develop this parcel of land, the NSW Goverment will provide an additional $5 million for a project plan, and there is a reported estimated total budget of ~$50 million dollars to develop the site.
The kangaroos can't stay and have nowhere else to safely go.
Council has agreed to pay the costs of medicants/darting consumables and the temporary fencing required to temporarily hold the kangaroos for darting. However this will represent just 10% of the calculated costs of the relocation itself.
Professionals in darting, ecology, and kangaroos as well as veterinary personnel are donating their services to the value of 60% of the project, with community NGOs, businesses, clubs, and volunteers providing another 30% of the costs in donated time, equipment and services.
Funds raised through this appeal will help pay for the consumables and equipment not covered by council’s fixed contribution. This will include extra medicants and darting consumables; communication systems; ear-tagging systems; room and board for out of town volunteers; fuel for transporting the kangaroos to their new home some distance away; admin consumables and much more.
Any funds raised that are in excess to those needed for this effort will be used to help pay outstanding vet bills for injured and rescued kangaroos in the Bathurst and surrounding region.
This is a groundbreaking community-partnered project being run entirely by volunteered expertise and effort and is capturing the notice and support of state and national government agencies and NGOs.
It has the potential to provide a scientifically recorded and published model on non-lethal alternatives to kangaroo management. We think this is worth the effort.
Thank you for your interest in this project. Please share this page.
In December the license conditions to move the Mt Panorama kangaroo mob were finally received. These are detailed legal/scientific conditions to be met before moving the first of the kangaroos. Extraordinary effort on the part of everyone involved has been spent to meet those 11th hour tasks:
500+ volunteer hours over the Christmas/New Year break completed required tasks including: Floristic surveys, scat surveys, biomass surveys and the collection of 75,000 baseline images from the array of camera traps at the release site. These images now need to be processed so they can be analysed.
Local volunteer teams also sourced, collected and erected (in 35c+ degree summer heat) over 1,100m of second hand fencing and built a 14ha temporary release compound at the release site. This will ensure bonded animals can find each other as they are moved, and monitored for wellbeing after moving. Stretches of fence still need securing and tensioning, and the purchasing and collection of the final 300m of required chainlink is planned for this coming week. There will be a few more working bees to finish that new compound, then the movement of animals will start.
Our local lead vet Dr Nick Scott from Stewart Street Veterinary Hospital has inspected the compounded animals which are still in good condition. However prolonged delay finalising the license conditions has pushed the project into a continuing dry hot summer. We are now replenishing daily supplementary feed and water-points. We have also installed 3 soaker hoses to help growth of the late summer grasses in the parts of the compound.
Dr Scott has written to NPWS supporting the project and reiterating our own submission urging quicker amendment of the license conditions.Volunteers continue to check the orchard compound predawn and evening every day, with more kangaroos continuing to be let in.
Project community partners the Bathurst Kangaroo Project, Rahamim Ecology Centre, WIRES Central West and Skillset Environment recently met with local state MP Paul Toole requesting his help expediting the project, as well as funding for the 11th hour requirement to fit tracking collars to a number of relocated kangaroos (see below).
On 1 February 2017 Bathurst City Councillors voted with a unanimous and supportive voice to continue supporting the project and importantly to actively help it by forming a new kangaroo working group involving Councillors and community partners. This group will help move this project along and develop a future non-lethal strategy for management of kangaroos around Wahluu-Mt Panorama. We are very appreciative of this important and innovative partnership in kangaroo management. Bathurst City Council and its Councillors deserve recognition for their innovative approach and support.
Our local media have always been important and interested reporters of this story. We remind you to support and get to know your local media - they are an important part of communities everywhere: http://www.westernadvocate.com.au/story/4436352/our-say-roo-funding-decision-can-only-go-one-way/
Council’s groundbreaking approach has also attracted attention from both local and international media. Creative Cowboy Films’ recent interview with Bathurst Mayor Gary Rush was shared nearly 30,000 times in its first week online. You can see that interview in the link below, or can share it from the Bathurst Kangaroo Project Facebook page: http://bit.ly/2jlKpIQ
Japan’s national broadcaster NHK is also planning to do a number of stories on the project.
The schedule for the relocation itself is being rewritten so the animals will only be moved during cooler hours of the day. This will result in a slower pace for the project but will lessen the impact of the relocation on the animals. An email is going out shortly to our army of volunteers asking availability over the next few months so we can plug away at the actual movement.
We are also rewriting our budget. Prolonged bureaucratic delays and new license conditions have required purchase of fencing, irrigation equipment, daily supplementary feed, and with so many extra animals compounded - will require perhaps double the amount of medicant and darting supplies. Your donation is greatly appreciated in helping pay these costs which will be detailed in reporting on the relocation proper.
The licence requirement for a minimum of 10 tracking collars also finds us seeking sponsors for each collar at $3,600 per collar. A new website to this end is nearly completed. We are confident we will find those sponsors, who will name ‘their’ collar and thus every kangaroo mapped wearing that collar now and into the future. We intend providing the set of collars to other community kangaroo relocations into the future where they are required to provide the same. Rahamim Ecology Centre and community volunteers are leading the way on this additionally required project which is a whole new campaign in itself!
An estimated $300,000 worth of professional and community services is now being provided pro-bono, and work continues. Professional and community volunteers have not stopped putting in long days to ensure this project provides successful model for other communities. Our priority now is getting the final 300m of chainlink fencing up so we can finally start moving the animals under current license conditions while we again wait for amendment to those conditions. We hope to do this by the end of this coming week - depending on everyone’s availability for a couple of days of working bees.
The project has increasing interest from local, national and international news organisations. You can keep updated with those articles on the Bathurst Kangaroo Page website www.facebook.com/bathurstkangarooproject, which we hope you will share to your networks.
This morning’s dawn start to the international 12 hour car race saw a kangaroo-free start to the race. There have been no car-collisions on the busy road on the compound’s eastern boundary since we began. We believe this reduction in risk to landusers and to the kangaroos is worth this continuing massive effort.
Don’t hesitate to contact The Bathurst Kangaroo project if you want to know more or get involved.
Please share this fund-raising effort. Your support is essential. This project will set a new standard for future (inevitable) conflicts between development and wildlife, and your generous support will help this Project succeed
Thank you again.
Apologies for the long delay in this update. Be assured work on this project is continuing every day.
It has been 85+ days since containment of the Appleton Orchard kangaroos began, and the team continues to check the perimeter fence at dawn and dusk every day; filling up water containers when needed and checking the natural feed in the compound which is currently plentiful, although dry.
There is but a handful of kangaroos left in that part of the landscape, and they are being let in as they come to the compound. The doe in the attached video eventually moved down the fence and through the panel that had been opened for her late last week on a very cold morning.
Numerous local residents, road users and other stakeholders are contacting the project about the success of the containment program, encapsulated by one email writing: “It is a lot safer driving along there in the mornings for us & them”
We have also been very busy responding to Council’s concerns about the prolonged delay in waiting for finalised approval conditions. This delay and the onset of summer has necessitated re-setting our original schedule and protocols to suit changed conditions, and Council understandably want to know what’s going on. We have spent the last few days on a new timeline for Council to consider at its meeting tonight (Wednesday 12/14/2016).
Last week the final requirements for the relocation of the first group of kangaroos were clarified by NPWS and the team is working hard to organise the extra science that now has to be a part of the project.
These factors need to be completed before we can start shortly, so it’s all hands on deck right now:
BIODIVERSITY SURVEY: More baseline biodiversity data has to be collected, so this week is seeing more fieldwork at the release site with our old Bathurst Kangaroo Project researcher Eli Bendall returning to help this week. Eli is an environmental biologist currently finishing his PhD on eucalypts and fire ecology.
This information will be supplemented by camera-trap data, with 24 camera traps already deployed.
TRACKING TECHNOLOGIES: vhf/gps kangaroo tracking technologies must also now be purchased or otherwise acquired to record the outcomes of the first relocated animals. This data will add to the array of camera trap data across the release landscape.
Researcher Scott Bevins, whose post-graduate research involved tracking koalas, is helping coordinate this part of the project, and we are investigating project partners with capacity in this area so we can concentrate on doing the other parts of the project (the biodiversity science and the relocation itself).
25 HECTARE TEMPORARY RELEASE COMPOUND: We are now on the hunt for 2km of 1800mm chainlink fencing wire & poles. With summer heat now a risk, we can only relocate animals in the early morning which slows the relocation rate. Heatwaves or windy/stormy weather present risk to the animals and will temporarily suspend activities.
If we are only able to move only 5-10 animals per day, we need to release the animals into a large compound at the release site to ensure these socially bonded animals find each other again and so limit any stress leading to dispersal. We are now accumulating materials and getting a work team together to build a 25ha release compound.
HERE’S A CALLOUT FOR any unused, surplus or second-hand lengths of 1800mm chainlink compound fencing and posts we can stitch together to build that compound in the next two weeks, or any temporary fencing which we can beg, borrow or ****have donated!***.
We have also asked government agencies and local businesses to put out the word. If anyone knows of old or unused lengths of fencing, we’ll come and dismantle it for the owner and promote their donation. All fencing material can be returned at the end of the project if required.
We are also putting out the call for more volunteer vets, with our wonderful lead vets at Stewart Street Veterinary Hospital reaffirming their full commitment and support for the project.
Bathurst Regional Council is generously contributing a set amount towards the medicant and darting supplies. Our first lot of medicants is being paid for and delivered this week, with the first delivery of darting consumables received. We are revising our budget for the extra consumables required for the additional kangaroos we have compounded and for the now-required tracking gear and fencing, and are working extra hard to find ways of accessing this gear.
We are re-setting our plans to suit NPWS conditions attached to the license to relocate and will be sending the schedule to our teams of volunteers so everyone can start pencilling dates for their involvement. The move itself is still a massive project logistically, so everyone’s continued interest and support (and patience) is appreciated!
If anyone wants to help or be involved over this season’s break with biodiversity studies, fencing etc – please let us know! It’s an exciting and challenging project – being delivered probono by all involved. It is a true community effort but we need continued interest and support with materials and effort to ensure the best possible outcomes for the kangaroos.
Your help is very much appreciated.
Please accept our apologies for the delay in updating.
In response to the request to reschedule the relocation on 15 Oct, the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) recently advised that further delays will be caused by their passing on the proposal to the RSPCA and one additional external reviewer. This is despite the required approvals by the relevant Animal Care & Ethics Committee (from another government department) being provided just 3 days after lodging the application in August, in recognition of the urgency of the project...
The ecological science of the plan has already been reviewed by 2 NPWS units and a third external reviewer. Over 60 pages of planning and information have been provided so far!
They say all good things come to those who wait, but these delays find us in a different context and facing new factors, including the fact that the relocation may need to be further delayed until the now-emerging joeys are big enough to dart. Approaching summer heat also increases the risk to darted kangaroos, with the drugs raising the risk of hyperthermia.
Meanwhile, Bathurst Kangaroo Project volunteers continue to check the compound daily (at dawn and at dusk), as well as continuing to work on the logistics and planning for the relocation.
The photo below shows another icy dawn looking over the orchard and Bathurst's beautiful rural backdrop on 22/10/2016. Bathurst sits to the left of this vista.
Calm is quickly returning to the area as we still wait on NPWS licensing to give final go ahead.
A far cry from the Hornet jet fighter display the day before.
Donna -- I am working with the Bathurst Kangaroo Project on this fundraising effort (I am in the US) and here is a reply to your question (and thanks for your interest.) Re: myopathy Kangaroos, and especially Eastern Greys, are especially prone to myopathy. The most important thing is to keep the roos as calm and stress-free as possible at every step. The relocation is being conducted by experts highly experienced in kangaroo chemical capture, medication and relocation. They are committed to the welfare of each animal. Appropriate medicants will be applied to each animal to keep them as stress-free as possible and to counter the effects of myopathy as far as possible. This project is being fully documented by kangaroo scientists and the protocols in place are informed by very experienced kangaroo advisors from around the country. This is a professional exercise and you can be assured the animals’ welfare is the priority. More information about capture myopathy is available here: http://www.ozarkwild.org/myopathy.php
If this council chooses to displace these roos from their natural and god given right to be there then they should pay to have them safetly and properly relocated. To move these animals because they want a second track which has no other purpose than to entertain humans is the most outrageous and unethical behaviour. If they can spend so much money for a race track surely they can build it so the animals can live there safely. That being said its wonderful that culling is not on the agenda nor should it be. The other things is if you remove this mob another will take its place given time. So work around them and incorporate them and their safety in your plan for the race course...you may find that they will become a bonus especially when it comes to tourism.
So pleased to know this project is going so well. It's important to save these kangaroos, but you are also encouraging many people to think about how we behave towards wildlife and why we should not expect that our needs and desires outweigh theirs. This planet is their home, too.
will this impact on the health of the Kangaroo EG capture Myopathy stress etc