Friends of The Pinnacle   the pinnacle kangaroo sweep count
25 Aug 2013
 
  

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On Sunday 25 August 2013, ACT Parks and Conservation Service and fotpin conducted the third kangaroo survey of The Pinnacle Nature Reserve and adjacent lands.

Many thanks to everyone who participated and their supporting families for making the survey a success.

The survey employed the sweep count methodology used in 2011 (see pinnacle sweep count 2011 for details). Two sweep counts were carried out, commencing at 9-30 am and 2 pm, preceded by a detailed briefing from Don Fletcher (ACT PCS). Over the day 45 adults and children volunteered to help with the count, ensuring plenty of help to form a line between Springvale and William Hovell Drives, over a distance of up to 1.7km.

In the morning sweep we counted 630 kangaroos, and in the afternoon 670. An average of these figures was used as the final estimate, giving us a value of 650. This is slightly less than the number estimated from the count in 2012 (677). This equates to a population density of 1.8 kangaroos per hectare across the area of the count, greater than the "conservation density" which research in the ACT has estimated to be in the range of approximately 0.6 to 1.5 Eastern Grey Kangaroos per hectare in grassland areas.

When the effect of the culling of 200 kangaroos in late July 2013 is taken into account, the result of this year's count shows that the kangaroo population increased by 26% between 2012 and 2013, because it would have been 850 if the culling was not carried out. This suggests that culling is necessary to control the population.

The size of The Pinnacle kangaroo population will be used by ACT Parks to help make informed management decisions. Fotpin Committee supports this approach - such as conducting kangaroo culls - where this is needed to protect the overall ecological health of the reserve. In addition, the native grass restoration project monitors the effect of grazing on groundlayer biomass and groundlayer species composition and abundance; the annual kangaroo survey has useful inputs to this research.

 

sweep commences

The morning sweep line moves off from the Dungowan St entrance [photo: Alison Milton]

 

 

Tallying the results

Collecting the tally sheets at the end of the count [photo: Alison Milton]

sweep line

The afternoon sweep line moves through the Forest block
[photo: Warren Bond]

   

 

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