Living alongside kangaroos offers a wonderful opportunity to experience native wildlife, but it can sometimes cause problems too. Learn tips on co-existing with our local kangaroos.
About kangaroos and their protection
Yonga is the traditional name for the western grey kangaroo of the Wadandi (saltwater people) of the Dworden wongie – Aboriginal people of the south west boodjara (country) in WA.
Western grey kangaroos (Macrocarpus fuliginosus) are the largest and most visible native animal in the region. Kangaroos provide many benefits to residents. They help to maintain grasses, provide good fertiliser for gardens, and maintain a healthy ecosystem.
As Australian native wildlife, kangaroos are a protected species under the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 and associated regulations.
Local kangaroo populations have increased rapidly in some of our rural and rural residential areas, with lawns, water sources and shady areas providing ideal living conditions for kangaroos.
Areas with large kangaroo populations can experience issues such as damage to gardens and fences, impacts to revegetated areas, vehicle collisions, and kangaroos becoming aggressive towards people and domestic pets.
Residents can take a number of actions to reduce the impacts of kangaroos on their property, while also helping to protect local kangaroo populations.
Fencing around property boundaries can pose a risk to kangaroos by forcing kangaroos onto road verges, increasing the risk of vehicle collision, separating mothers and joeys, and limiting kangaroo movement and grazing space.
In rural residential areas, planning approval is required to install any property boundary fences. Find out about planning approval for fences.
Where possible, it is preferable to fence the building envelope only (e.g. buildings, gardens, and newly planted areas). This allows free movement by kangaroos and other wildlife through grassed areas or vegetation corridors, allowing them access to neighbouring areas, natural water sources, and trees and shady areas. It also helps kangaroos to disperse and avoid mob-clustering, making living in harmony with kangaroos easier.
Fencing building envelopes rather than property boundaries also has the added benefit of improving accessibility for fire suppression activities.
Native trees and shrubs can be planted as an alternative to fencing as a way of defining your property boundaries, with many positive benefits. Native plants will enhance the local amenity, provide habitat and food for wildlife, and if planted around property perimeters can create wildlife corridors.
The use of low flammability plants can provide more effective protection from fire closer to homes, and can be fenced to provide a yard to enclose the building envelope.
Local nurseries are well stocked with native species suitable for planting on your property, and have expert knowledge to draw on.
Protecting young trees or shrubs
When planting young trees or shrubs, it is necessary to protect the plants with strong tree guards so that kangaroos are not tempted to feed on new growth. Kangaroos can easily knock over tree guards that are not well secured.
Group and individual plantings can be temporarily fenced or netted. Some residents have chosen to establish netted orchards that protect fruit but allow wildlife movement around them.
Talk with your local nursery suppliers, or your neighbours who have established successful plantings.
Staying safe around kangaroos
Kangaroos are mostly docile but can be unpredictable when they feel threatened.
Do not walk directly towards a kangaroo, or go near kangaroos expressing dominating behaviour. Keep watch of your pets and prevent dogs from approaching kangaroos.
Never feed kangaroos, and limit any food and artificial water sources around your home.
If kangaroos pose a danger to humans or are causing economic damage to property, agricultural activity or infrastructure, further action may be necessary. Contact the Parks and Wildlife Service for assistance.
Be aware that kangaroos may cross roads at any time. Always be alert for wildlife feeding near the roadside and take particular care at dusk and dawn when kangaroos are active and lighting is poor.
When a kangaroo dies on your property
Please note that if an animal dies on your property it is your responsibility for disposal. Parks and Wildlife Service and the Shire of Augusta Margaret River are not obliged to assist.
Wadandi traditional information on Yonga
We acknowledge that this intellectual property belongs to Pibulmun Wadandi Yunungjarli Elder, Wayne Webb.
Yonga is the traditional name for the western grey kangaroo of the Wadandi (saltwater people) of the Dworden wongie (local dialect) – Aboriginal people of the south west boodjara (country) in Western Australia. Yonga is our dwordenup (totem).
It’s our responsibility to protect and manage this animal as it is our moort (family). For this reason, we only take 2-year old yonga for food and its spirit is sung; thanking it for giving its life to provide our mob with food. We don’t usually eat our totem as it’s our family, however we can provide to other families when we gather for ceremony or if it is offered to us in exchange for other merange (fruits/vegetables) or gilgit dartja (fish/meat).
- General term for any kangaroo: Yungore'e
- Male kangaroo: Yonga/Yongaa/Yongka
- Female kangaroo: Woora/ Worra
- Joey: Duttinge/Dutdinge
- Kangaroo skin cloak/ clothing: Booka/Bookah
- Men wear seven Yonga moba/mobaa (skins) sewn together
- Women wear five Woora moba female kangaroo skins sewn together
- Kangaroo skin bag : Koota/Kootah
- Shoes (foot clothing): Djennabooka