Wildlife Research Wildlife Research Society
Ecology, management and conservation in natural and modified habitats

Macropod studies at Wallaby Creek. X. Responses of eastern grey kangaroos to cattle

Alison L. Payne and Peter J. Jarman

Wildlife Research 26(2) 215 - 225
Published: 1999


The instantaneous behavioural and spatial responses of eastern grey kangaroos to the presence of cattle were studied at Wallaby Creek, north-eastern New South Wales. Kangaroo groups were distributed closer to cattle groups than would be expected by chance, both at a study-site scale (154-ha) and at a 1-ha scale; large males were recorded on average further from cattle than were smaller males. Nearest-neighbouring kangaroo groups were located such that cattle groups rarely interrupted the lines of sight between them. Observed disturbance and displacement by cattle provoked a minimal response in kangaroos, which fled only tens of metres and soon resumed their previous activity. The presence of cattle had few detectable instantaneous effects on the behaviour of the kangaroos, except to increase their alertness and the feeding time of small (but not large) kangaroo groups. These effects indicate that cattle pose little threat to kangaroos.


© CSIRO 1999

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