Help us save 150 Kangaroos

If you are a first time visitor, thank you for your interest.  If you are already a supporter – thank you for your support.
A short update has been posted with links to two wonderful videos detailing this on-going effort -- please spend a few moments to watch.  They show the intensity and commitment of the project  volunteers, as well as the scale and beauty of this project.  The films help explain why countless volunteers have spent hundreds and hundreds of hours on this proejct.  Hopefully you will lend your support to their efforts.

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 in 2015.  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 in early 2016



A team of NGOs and volunteers under the coordination of scientist Ray Mjadwesch and with the support of The Bathurst Kangaroo Project has been working for over a year on an unprecedented project 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 provides a solution for Bathurst Council and the kangaroos, and establishes 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 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 have out of town experts and volunteers needed room and board during the months of the project, but everything from temporary fencing, fuel, veterinary medical supplies and communications equipment has been or is being 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 July 2017)
Over the past months, volunteer efforts have been ongoing to corral, tranqulize and transport the kangaroos of Mt Panorama.  The project is on-going: please see the latest updates for up-to-date information.

(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. 

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.



Sally Neaves

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