Legend has it they were transported north from the home of Fiona Bryde Gore, Countess of Arran, at the end of the World War Two.

Native to the warmer climes of Australia, the wallabies have survived (and multiplied) by nibbling oak, holly and birch trees.

However, their 80-year tenure on an uninhabited 103-acre island on Loch Lomond looks set to be coming to an end.

The new owners of Inchconnachan Island have said they are supportive of relocating the remaining marsupials amid concerns they were in line for a cull. Their numbers are said to have reduced from around 60 to seven.

Island management plans state that the long term goal is for “non-native species population” including flora and fauna to be reduced to zero or close to zero.

Kirsty Young, the former host of Desert Island Discs, and her husband Nick Jones, 58, bought the island for £1.6million, in a deal announced last month.

The couple have now confirmed that their preference would be to move them off the island.


They are said to be acting on the advice of conservationist Chris Packham who cautioned against killing the animals and said it would be “no problem” to find them a new home.

A spokeswoman for the couple said:  “Nick and Kirsty wholeheartedly agree with Chris Packham that the relocation of the very small population of wallabies would be a really good thing to do.

“They’ll always be led by expert opinion and do what’s best for the island’s native ecosystem.”

Mr Packham said shooting wallabies would “court controversy.” An online petition to save the animals has now reached almost 5000 signatures.

Interviewed by The Sunday Times, he said: “They may be non-native but they survived in different parts of the UK for decades and  and they have a culture value.

“I applaud efforts to re-wild but you can’t blame the wallabies. 

“The way to do it is to catch the wallabies and move them elsewhere. I don’t think there would be any problem finding them a new home.

“It’s more expensive and time consuming but it’s better than shooting them.”

However, Craig Morrison, who is involved in the campaign to keep the wallabies on the island, likened the plan to “relocating Nessie”.

He said: “These are wild animals, all born wild on the island of Inchconnachan, they are Scottish wallabies and deserve to stay on their island home. 

“Translocating the wallabies would put the animals under severe stress and is entirely unnecessary, the process in itself would represent a major risk to their lives.

"As i have stated before it is akin to translocating Nessie.”

Kirsty Young and her husband have submitted plans to create a “world-class” habitat and tourist attraction on the site, which is recognised as an area of special scientific interest, as well as a short-term holiday home.