The Viggers & Hearn conundrum: a kangaroo home range study with no implications for land management


Jennifer Martin, Department of Zoology, The University of Melbourne, Victoria, 3010, Australia (fax: + 61 38344 7909; e-mail:


  • 1Viggers & Hearn (2005) examined the encroachment of native herbivores on to farmland. They presented kangaroo home range estimates and pasture biomass data for three sites in south-eastern Australia, then made broad management recommendations regarding the preservation of remnant habitat.
  • 2While Viggers & Hearn identified potentially important patterns, we believe that their data were neither sufficient nor appropriate to reveal the processes that underlie these patterns.
  • 3Specifically, their study was unreplicated at the land-use level, used inappropriate density estimates for their study populations, failed to measure resources adequately, used flawed methods of home range analysis, and demonstrated limited understanding of key concepts and of their study species and thus could not draw valid conclusions.
  • 4Synthesis and applications. In view of these fundamental problems, we recommend that decisions on the management of kangaroos and remnant vegetation not be based on the work reported by Viggers & Hearn.