Animals introduced to KI

The file has been accepted in good faith "as is" and has not been fact checked or verified. Accordingly K.I.P.A. cannot accept any responsibility for the accuracy of the information contained therein.

Research by Geoffrey Chapman

4 pairs Gang Gangs were released in the summer of 1946.

Other records for interest: 1900: kookaburra first released on KI at Mr John Turner at Smiths Bay. Later Mr. Roper released couple of pairs to of Cygnet Park. By 1927, there were about 10 or 12 pairs with the main territory being from along the Cygnet River. By the 1950’s the kookaburra has been recorded in the Chase. While generally accepted as introduced, it is interesting the First settlers arriving at Reeves point near Kingscote, there were several reference of laughing Kookaburras??”

Mallee Fowl

18th July 1911 Mallee fowl -the second consignment of several pair of Mallee Fowl brought from Cumbrutla Creek, near to Mount Desperate. Eyre Peninsula was released at the Light house Reserve, possibly near the De Mole River.

In 1926, Professor Wood Jones released a pair of mallee fowl were liberated Reference: Trove

In 1933 Harry Hansen reported one colony near Cape Borda and another near Cape De Couedic were doing well Reference: Trove, Advertiser 7 April 1933

In 1941 three Mallee fowl chicks were released into the Chase donated by R F Bellchambers, Adelaide Reference: Trove, Chronicle 1 April 1941

Cape Barren Geese

1923 to 1935: Cape Barren Geese: records cite one record of Cape Barren Geese on Kangaroo Island prior to the deliberate introduction of a pair of pinioned birds in 1923 by Professor Wood Jones presented by Mr. J. C. Marshall had been set loose in a cleared, swampy area near the Rocky River Homestead


[1] In 1923 4 Koalas released in the Rocky River from, Victoria by Professor Wood Jones Reference Trove: 6 Jan 1944 News

[2] in 1925 6 koalas from Victoria was released and shortly after, an additional 6 males and 6 females from French Island, Victorian coast were released in the same area.

[3] In 1926 6 males and 6 female Koalas with “Cubs” were released Rocky River Waterhole Reference: 23rd June 1951 Mail

[4] In 1931 ‘7’ Koalas from the Colin Mackenzie Sanctuary, Healesville, Victoria were released by Professor Wood Jones at the Rocky River Waterhole

[5] In 1839 “17” released at Willson's River (often known as Hog Bay River] by Alfred “Keith” Minchin

In 1940, Mr. Keith Minchin Director of the Adelaide Koala Farm, said that since he started keeping koalas in Adelaide in 1929, he had released about 100 on Kangaroo Island near Hog Bay

[5] In 1941 ‘10’ more “placed in the Rocky River Waterhole References: Trove, 14th & 25th April 1946 KI Courier

[6] in 1946 another 6 koalas ‘were released by Professor Wood Jones at Breakneck River in and another ‘four pair’ in the Rocky River reference Mervinia Masterman

[7] In 1948 the ranger reported that koalas were present in hundreds and evidence of them is seen ‘everywhere’.. Reference: Trove

[8] Jan 1950: 3 female koalas who yesterday made an air journey from Koala Farm to Willson’s River, Hog Bay River (Mr. Keith Minchin)

[9] 5th Feb 1953: Some 70 koalas had been released in pairs in the past eight years into an area of 30 square miles along Willson's River.

[10] In 1955, 1956 and then after the 1958 fire, at least 20 Koalas were translocated from Flinders Chase to the Cygnet River valley, Reference: Trove


1912 Mr F Winch released English Perch into Murray’s Lagoon

1925 A pair of black Tasmanian possums were released at Flinders Chase Reference: Trove, 20 Oct 1925 SE Times

1925 three pairs of Rat Kangaroo were released at Rocky River Reference: Trove, 20 Oct 1925 SE Times

1926; Professor Wood-Jones released a wombat, 15 ring-tailed possums, and 50 stump-tailed or sleepy lizards. It was noted that neither stump-tailed lizards nor ring-tailed opossums were natives of the island. Professor Wood Jones released two emus, a further lot of stump-tailed lizards, and some more rat kangaroos, bred at the Adelaide University, The mallee fowls were reported to be doing well plus a pair of wild birds had twice been seen in the neighbourhood of the homestead. These are probably the descendants of those liberated on the Light House Reserve many years ago Reference: Trove 13 Nov 1926 Observer

1928 1 pair of young emus [courtesy of Mr.H. W. Lloyd,], and 4 Cape Barren Geese were released at Rocky River Reference: Trove, 17 Feb 1928 & 26 Nov 1930 Register

By 1936 twenty-six emus had been released Reference: Trove, 26 sept 1936 Advertiser

1928: Platypus –a total of 15 animals from Healesville, introduced in 1928, 1941 and 1946. they were also released into Breakneck River and Ravine des Cassoars. The Breakneck and Rocky Rivers are now the only streams remaining in South Australia which have the whole of their catchment areas contained within relatively undisturbed natural vegetation and the aquatic ecosystems that they support are of great importance

1929 The ranger reported that the Common Wombat were becoming troublesome, burrowing in the vicinity of the ranger's cottage and the old homestead. Reference: Trove, 2 May 1929 Register

1945 four Hairy nosed Wombats [part of a consignment of 12] “on their way from Swan Reach}. where they have been found in large numbers on the roads and in the scrub in a half-starved condition, to Flinders Chase Sanctuary, Kangaroo Island. Reference Trove, Monday 25th June 1945 News Adelaide

1933 Ring-tailed possums was introduced, and was doing well Reference: Trove, 29 Feb 1929 Advertiser

1936: Brush turkeys from the east coast of Aust released - one pair of brush turkeys was released in 1948]. . In the 1970’s the Masterman’s’ reported an active nest at Rocky River and Breakneck river reference Mervinia Masterman

1938 Crested Pigeons, Diamond Doves, and Zebra Finches previously released were doing well, and also the euro kangaroos' Reference: Trove, 17 March 1938 Chronicle

1843 two pairs of Wonga pigeons released Reference: Trove, 4 Feb 1943 Chronicle

About the same time, blue tongue lizards and tortoises were released

Summer of 1946—four pairs of Gang-Gang Cockatoos released at Breakneck River. In 1950’s Masterman’s reported small flocks of Gang Gangs at Rocky River and Breakneck Ravine the reference Mervinia Masterman

Pigs - were released by Baudin at Penneshaw. It is known that Governor Wallen had pigs at Cygnet River by 1837


1860: Goats – escapees from lighthouses [used for milk and meat]

In 1911, goats were purchased for Cape De Couedic..

However; goats were already being use on the Island by sealers prior to the first settlers arrival in 1836 e.g Nat Thomas had a large flock at Antechamber Bay, James Goodyear who had the sawmill at Cygnet River in the 1850’s brought over a flock of goats

  • Geoffrey Chapman