Date of Award

2001

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science Honours

Faculty

Faculty of Communications, Health and Science

First Advisor

Dr Alan Needham

Abstract

Yellagonga Regional Park is located in the northwest corridor of Perth and constitutes 1400 hectares of wetlands, parkland, open forest and open woodland. Few studies have been conducted on the native fauna in the Park's upland habitats. For this reason, a study of the abundance and distribution of western grey kangaroos (Macropus fuliginosus) was conducted. A walked survey using direct counts and individual recognition of kangaroos during winter, recorded a total of 123 kangaroos, 51 pouch young and 23 unidentified individuals in Yellagonga Regional Park, and a further 24 kangaroos and 18 pouch young at Edith Cowan University's Joondalup campus. Two populations were identified, one alongside the north and northwest of Lake Joondalup and the other in the southern end of the Park between Woodvale Drive and Whitfords Avenue. Individuals in the northern population migrated freely between Yellagonga Regional Park and adjacent areas, while those in the southern population were mostly confined within the Park. Eight kangaroos sighted at Edith Cowan University's Joondalup Campus were also recorded in Yellagonga Regional Park and individuals sighted north of Lake Joondalup moved between Yellagonga Regional Park and Neerabup National Park. Both populations had highly biased female ratios that were attributed to higher mortality among the adult males, missed sightings and greater movement of males. Macropus fuliginosus did not show a preference for open woodland or open forest habitats. Distribution of the northern population was influenced by both understorey density and levels of human activity, while distribution of the southern population was mostly influenced by human disturbance. A low-level of management may be needed to ensure that future developments within and adjacent the Park do not limit the ranges of individuals or reduce the viability of populations.

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