Debrah Novak

Skippy's breeding fast

DON'T worry about calling your optometrist - yes, the young kangaroo photographed is pure white.

Or more precisely, a rare albino.

Although Skippy hasn't turned to the hydrogen peroxide to lighten his locks in time for summer, his relatives are getting busy and expanding the roo population around Townsend and Gulmarrad.

Readers have reported a noticable increase in the marsupial's numbers throughout the Lower Clarence, with many worried the sudden influx of roos is responsible for reducing the native swamp wallaby population.

Lawrence Orel from the National Parks and Wildlife Service is dismissing these claims.

"The population of eastern grey kangaroos fluctuates according to the current conditions," he said.

"The recent wet weather has caused a surge of green vegetation, prompting kangaroos to subsequently increase numbers.

"There is plenty of fresh grass shoots across open areas of lawn and in open parkland and the kangaroos absolutely love it."

Mr Orel said the swamp wallaby population was not being "displaced" by the kangaroos breeding.

"Swamp wallabies love to get under dense undergrowth.

"It is likely they are staying in thick vegetation where they can hide from their predators."

Mr Orel said landholders could apply to NPWS for a shooting permit if kangaroos cause evidence of economic hardship.

Motorists are advised to watch for roos when driving at dawn and dusk.

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