NATIVE wildlife around the Macleay is slowly starting to recover after a tough few years with fires and drought.
However, with new developments around South West Rocks and other areas, many animals are being displaced and coming into frequent contact with humans.
Annette Tang, a FAWNA member and the Macropod coordinator for the Northern Area, says that while it might be tempting to approach one of our unique native animals, residents need to resist the urge.
"If you see one of our native animals, give them a wide berth, if it's a kangaroo, avoid eye contact, the males see it as a challenge and if they have a few females or joeys with them, they will try to protect their families," she said.
"Leave them be, and they won't bother you, kangaroos move on eventually, they are naturally nomadic, look at them, admire them from a distance, but don't approach."
One action needs to be avoided at all costs though, and while most of the culprits are tourists, Annette says locals can be guilty of this sometimes too.
"PLEASE DON'T FEED THE KANGAROOS, I can't emphasise this point enough," Annette said.
"When a kangaroo gets used to being fed by humans, they see every person as potentially having food, that's a bad habit to get them into.
"There are also a lot of foods that can cause our native animals harm, so it's best to avoid feeding them for everybody's wellbeing."
Along with being careful in person, Annette also hopes residents will take more care on the roads, with breeding season typically falling in Summer and Spring, there are more kangaroos out and about.
"With the fires and droughts the birth rate for kangaroos dropped significantly, but now we have been having all this rain and good conditions, there will be more joeys," she said.
"Please take care on our roads; roo's don't understand when it's safe to cross the road, they just see food or a patch of grass they want to get to and go for it."
There has been a lot of discussion around conservation recently, with koalas being a particular concern, but Annette says more species are at risk as well.
"I've lived here for over 30 years, and have seen a marked difference in the number of native wildlife; it's very sad," Annette said.
"Native wildlife is starting to disappear, our gliders, koalas, if we aren't careful, in one or two generations, they might be gone forever.
"Some experts are predicting that in 10 to 20 years, there will be no kangaroos on the eastern side of the great dividing range, and I think that is very sad."
FAWNA is always on the lookout for new members, anybody interested in becoming a carer or joining the organisation can head over to www.fawna.org.au for more information.
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