Friday, March 19, 2010

Skippy the golf watching kangaroo

from w
Peceli plays golf at Barwon Valley, or anywhere nearby and even Queenscliff where there are about four hundred kangaroos watching. Now I do like to see kangaroos in the bush or at a wildlife sanctuary such as Serendip which I wrote about a couple of days ago, but on a golf course, well, there are enough hazards. The golfers who play at Queenscliff are getting a bit worried and want a cull. The golf course is on an island where SAS train so who are more dangerous, the kangaroos or the SAS guys? Anyway here's an article in today's Geelong Advertiser.
Skippy in sights in army golf war
Kerri-Ann Hobbs
March 20th, 2010
MARSUPIAL MAYHEM: A man takes a swing at the Queenscliff Golf Club on Swan Island, where golfers say kangaroos are a hazard and a pest.Photo: GLENN FERGUSON (though cropped a little by me). ARMY bosses are considering culling hundreds of kangaroos on Swan Island, according to golfers. Queenscliff Golf Club chiefs want the pests to be removed because members fear they will be attacked by aggressive kangaroos. And golfers say the animals are destroying the greens and threatening the endangered orange-bellied parrot.

Club vice-president Gary Price told the Geelong Advertiser the roos had been identified as a "pest" under the island's environmental-management plan and the group had asked owners the Defence Department to help save the course and other wildlife. "Our preference is that they weren't there at all and then we wouldn't have a problem," Mr Price said. "At the end of the day we are only tenants on defence land but we are the ones coping the backlash. The Defence Department has talked about having a cull and even birth control, but there hasn't been any action now for years."

Club greens chairman Kevin Cameron said latest counts showed more than 400 kangaroos called the island home. "Our man who works on the course seems to think that some of the dominant males maybe becoming aggressive," Mr Cameron said. "Nobody has been attacked but when he drives around they don't run off like they used to and some of the bigger ones are showing signs of becoming aggressive."

Drought had also drawn the animals to the course's lush greens and tees, providing them with juicy grass but causing serious damage each week. Mr Cameron said the huge numbers were also threatening the breeding grounds for thousands of birds, including the rare orange-bellied parrot, plovers, spoonbills and pelicans.

The 140ha island is connected to the mainland by a narrow bridge and causeway. It is also home to an SAS training centre.

Queenscliff Mayor Bob Merriman said he had been contacted by the club and asked to highlight the kangaroo problem to Defence Minister John Faulkner, a task he promised to perform. "It has gotten to the stage where the kangaroos have gotten used to being near people and a number of female members are horrified by the fact that kangaroos just don't move," Cr Merriman said. "Some female members are concerned they are going to get attacked."

The Defence Department would only say it was "serious" about managing the island's wildlife and the safety of golfers.



Post a Comment

<< Home