The kangaroo conundrum remains


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  • 1The management of kangaroo populations is a major land management and conservation issue in many parts of Australia.
  • 2Viggers & Hearn (2005) reported the results of a substantial radio-tracking study of the eastern grey kangaroo (Macropus giganteus Shaw) in south-eastern Australia. Martin et al. (2007) critique the study design, home range analysis, biomass assessment and other aspects of the work by Viggers & Hearn (2005).
  • 3We reject the criticisms made by Martin et al. (2007) and believe that the study design employed by Viggers & Hearn (2005) was sound. The work also was preceded by extensive day and night-time field assessments to enable contrasts between low and high density M. giganteus populations. We also contend that the home range analysis was not flawed: the methods employed by Viggers & Hearn (2005) were in fact the same ones recommended by Martin et al. (2007). We believe that other criticisms made by Martin et al. (2007) also cannot be sustained.
  • 4Synthesis and applications. Viggers & Hearn (2005) found that patches of remnant native vegetation were used as day and night-time refuges by M. giganteus. This creates a disincentive for farmers to conserve remnant native vegetation. The criticisms by Martin et al. (2007) have no bearing on this conclusion; hence the kangaroo conundrum stands.