Fears for Sun City Country Club kangaroos in Yanchep


Kangaroos in Yanchep.
Kangaroos in Yanchep.

Residents and the Chittering-based Northern Valleys Wildlife Support group started campaigning online for the animals, which they said had been fenced out of Sun City Country Club.

“Until recently the kangaroo population of Yanchep was able to live in relative safety, despite urban sprawl and encroachment on to their land,” wildlife carer Sonia Cooke said.

“The mob at Sun City Country Club lived on the golf course; an attraction for most golfers, residents and visitors alike.”

Mrs Cooke said a fence recently erected on St Andrews Drive had trapped many kangaroos in the housing development next to the golf course.

“Effectively these kangaroos are ‘landlocked’ in a small residential area, which is no place for these animals,” she said.

“Erecting a fence and trapping these kangaroos has raised the real possibility of a kangaroo versus vehicle incident.

“If a large adult kangaroo were to be involved in an impact with a family car, the results could be catastrophic.”

Club president Greg Mitchell said much of the course had been fenced for six years and part of its kangaroo management plan involved mustering the animals out weekly.

Mr Mitchell said most golf courses had kangaroos but about 3000 kangaroos lived around Sun City, compared to 35 at Karrinyup’s course.

“We’re happy to have kangaroos here, but with Parks and Wildlife we have a strategic management plan. We muster the kangaroos out every Wednesday; run them back outside through the gates. We’ve been doing it for a long time,” he said.

“We are only going to muster them and send them out to the bush.

“They need to take them out and change them, otherwise it’s like incest.”

Mr Mitchell said the fence along Russley Grove was to stop motorbikes and vehicles getting on to the course and ripping up the greens, not to keep the kangaroos out.

“It’s for the vandals,” he said.

Mr Mitchell said urban development increased the risk the kangaroos would be “landlocked”, and the club was discussing the issue with developers and authorities.

“The biggest issue we’ve got in Yanchep at the moment is the land development,” he said.

“Land developers are driving everything on to our course; we need to have wildlife in the bush.”

After the Department of Parks and Wildlife received calls, wildlife officer Matt Swan visited Yanchep with City of Wanneroo staff last week.

“The kangaroos that I saw… looked in pretty good health,” he said.

“I don’t think their health is going to deteriorate.”

Mr Swan counted 49 kangaroos in the park in St Andrew’s estate, but said there were likely to be others hidden in the bush.

He said the City owned the park, so it was responsible for managing the kangaroos living there and people should call it if any appeared to be injured or unwell.

“The golf course is responsible for the kangaroos on its land,” he said.

The City issued advice and information regarding kangaroos to residents via its website and Facebook page.

“Road signs will be installed along St Andrews Drive, Yanchep, to warn drivers about kangaroos in the area, in response to residents’ concerns about kangaroos being hit by cars,” the statement said.

“Rangers will continue to support the responsible agency (DPAW) if and when required to manage native animals. Residents should contact DPAW’s Wildcare helpline on 9474 9055 to report sick, injured or orphaned animals.”