Photos of kangaroos to put focus on their protection | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Photos of kangaroos to put focus on their protection

Eastern Grey Kangaroo (Photo credit C Clegg)

A study is underway to fill gaps in knowledge about the Fraser Coast’s kangaroo populations – and photographs by visitors and residents will play a vital role.

University of the Sunshine Coast researchers, in a partnership project with the Wildlife Preservation Society of Queensland, Fraser Coast branch, will use images collected by ‘citizen scientists’ to investigate the threats facing the region’s Eastern Grey Kangaroos.

UniSC wildlife ecologist Dr Beth Brunton said that urban development, habitat loss and vehicle collisions were key factors in declines of the iconic species in parts of South-East Queensland in recent decades, yet little was known about the full impact on Fraser Coast populations.

“We don’t know how many kangaroos there are in the region and where they occur,” Dr Brunton said. “By finding their preferred habitat areas and movement patterns we can better understand if populations are disappearing and where they are most at risk.”

This is where visitors and residents can make a difference.

They are invited to join two Kangaroos in Focus events hosted by UniSC and Wildlife Queensland, including a free public workshop on Saturday 24 June, presented by Dr Brunton and UniSC Honours student Nuala McClernon.

The session will include insights on local kangaroo populations and provide some innovative approaches to help them. It will be held from 2-4pm at Building B, UniSC Fraser Coast campus, Old Maryborough Road, Hervey Bay.

Eastern Grey joey (Photo credit C Clegg)

The following day, Sunday 25 June, people are invited to take part in Kangaroo Survey Day, coordinated by Wildlife Queensland’s Fraser Coast Branch.

President of Wildlife Queensland Fraser Coast Branch John Williams said the aim was to gather as many kangaroo photos as possible.

“We are asking people to go anywhere they may have seen kangaroos on the Fraser Coast to take photos on their mobile phones on Sunday morning. Dawn is the best time to search for kangaroos,” Mr Williams said.

“Try to get as many kangaroos as possible in the one picture, and remember to keep your distance to stay safe.”

Images of kangaroos can be uploaded to There are also options to record data manually.

The photos will be analysed along with bioclimatic and spatial data as part of Ms McClernon’s UniSC Honours research project, supervised by Dr Brunton and Dr Gabriel Conroy, that aims to help minimise impacts on wildlife.

Dr Brunton said the research would provide important baseline data for Wildlife Queensland and other stakeholders to inform management of kangaroo populations in the region.

“South-East Queensland has already seen large declines of up to 40 percent in populations of Eastern Grey Kangaroos, especially in coastal areas where urban development is greatest,” she said.

“It is likely the same thing will occur around Hervey Bay and Maryborough as development increases without proactive management,” she said.

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