The species of kangaroo typically found in Macedon Ranges is the Eastern Grey Kangaroo (Macropus giganteus giganteus).
General facts about Eastern Grey Kangaroos:
- Males can reach a total weight of 70kg and females up to 35kg.
- Preferred habitat is open, widespread grasslands, forest edges and woodlands.
- Like to spend the majority of the day resting in the shade or under shelter. In the evenings and early mornings they will move out into the open spaces to graze on grasses.
- Breeding season is around October to March.
- During times of minimal food supply a female kangaroo can pause the development of an embryo (known as embryonic diapause) until there is an increase in food supply or once the drought breaks. This natural action prevents the species from populating when resources are low.
The local populations of kangaroos can and do fluctuate with the availability of food and water.
Council does not have any data that suggests that kangaroos are increasing in number. However, kangaroos in the region have become more visible, particularly on roadsides. Increases of kangaroo population numbers can be attributed to:
- increases in food and water availability due to higher rainfall.
- recent fires may have prompted changes in mob movement. Kangaroos actively change their feeding and movement patterns as they readjust to the modified landscape.
- water supply in the form of farm dams provides kangaroos with a greater ability to migrate across the landscape.
According to the Wildlife Act 1975 it is against the law to cull or control native animals, including kangaroos. The only time a landowner can control kangaroos is if an Authority to Control Wildlife has been issued by the Department of Energy, Environment & Climate Action. These are only granted if kangaroos are seriously impacting the landowners’ livelihood.
It is strongly advised that you pursue non-direct methods first to control kangaroo numbers on your property. If these have proven to be ineffective, you can then explore more direct options.
- Excluding the animal from the affected area, for example through the use of fencing and netting. This method is humane and non-invasive. It is important to ensure that the fencing or netting is appropriately installed so that it does not become a hazard.
- Modifying habitat to alter the animals’ behaviour, for example by planting more trees which restricts pasture or water supply.
- Ensuring grain storage is secure.
- Dispersing, trapping, sterilising or culling.
These actions cannot be undertaken without an Authority to Control Wildlife issued by the Department of Energy, Environment & Climate Action.
Removal and relocation of the kangaroo/s is strongly discouraged, as it can cause distress and possible death.
Culling wildlife without the appropriate authorisation, or breaching controls set under the Authority to Control Wildlife system is seen as a serious offence and can result in penalties of up to $5,000 and/or up to six months imprisonment.
New control methods
Recent research has found that dingo scented gels and sprays repel kangaroos. The gels and sprays are infused with dingo urine, which has a strong odour. The chemicals in the odour acts as a repellent, indicating that there is a predator in the area.
Early tests of the product have shown that the product stopped kangaroos entering a rose garden for up to 31 days. This new method is seen as a humane method for property owners to deal with kangaroo problems.
If you have any questions about control of kangaroo populations, please direct them to the Department of Energy, Environment & Climate Action on 13 61 86 or call Wildlife Victoria on 1300 094 535.
If you come across an injured or sick kangaroo, you should report it immediately to the Department of Energy, Environment & Climate Action on 13 61 86 or your local wildlife shelter. It is strongly advised that you do not approach or attempt to catch the animal, as it can cause further distress.