4076 roos to be shot during ACT’s largest kangaroo cull

Lachlan Roberts8 May 2019

This year’s cull is the largest undertaken in the history of the program. Photo: George Tsotsos.

The ACT will conduct its largest-ever cull of Eastern Grey kangaroos, with 4076 roos to be killed in nature park reserves across the territory.

The 2019 ACT cull quota is more than the previous year when 3253 roos were culled across the territory and the program will also extend to over 14 sites.

This year’s cull is the largest undertaken in the history of the program in terms of numbers and sites to be targeted, which ACT Parks and Conservation Service director Daniel Iglesias said was due to grassy habitats decreasing across many local nature reserves, causing thousands of kangaroos to starve during the coming winter.

Canberra kangaroo cull and why it’s the right move for our environment

There’s another kangaroo cull going ahead in the ACT, and it will be the largest undertaken in the history of the culling program to date. Daniel Iglesias from ACT Parks and Conservation Service explains more about what’s happening and why wildlife ecology experts believe it’s the right move for our environment.

Posted by The RiotACT on Monday, 6 May 2019

“Kangaroos are an integral part of the ecosystems around Canberra. The conservation cull protects biodiversity and maintains kangaroo populations at appropriate levels to minimise impacts on other plants and animals in critical grassland and woodland sites,” Mr Iglesias said.

“Given the lack of rain, if we don’t cull the kangaroos humanely now, many will starve to death during winter and the quality of the habitat for other species that rely on the ground level vegetation will deteriorate.

“Nobody likes culling kangaroos” – Daniel Iglesias. Photo: Goerge Tsotsos.

“Our ecologists have used the best current scientific knowledge to analyse the status of each reserve’s population, the amount and type of vegetation, rainfall and other relevant factors to determine the numbers to be culled to support conservation outcomes.

“While nobody likes culling kangaroos, it is currently the most humane method of population management available to the ACT Government as a responsible land manager.”

The ANU’s Professor George Wilson, a nationally recognised expert on wildlife ecology management, has backed the plan and says that ACT Parks and Conservation research on managing urban kangaroo populations is the best in Australia.

“The scientists have done marvellous work in conjunction with the two universities in assessing an appropriate density in different reserves,” he says. “They have the best information in the country on what density of kangaroos is appropriate alongside other biodiversity objectives and they must manage to that density. Otherwise, they’re culpable for biodiversity loss.”

Professor Wilson says lack of natural predation has caused an exponential increase in the local kangaroo population. “The kangaroos have this wonderful environment with lots of green grass and protection. That’s not a problem when population is low, but once they get into the tens of thousands, a natural increase of 15 per cent or more each year has a huge impact on the environment.”

After studying and working with kangaroos for more than 50 years, Professor Wilson says he knows (and likes) the marsupials more than most people. “I do everything I can to maximise their welfare. That doesn’t involve allowing them to starve to death or be hit by cars, which are now their major form of predation in Canberra.

“We love to see kangaroos on Red Hill, but we need to know what population Red Hill can actually support. Is it 50, 150, or is it 550?”

Professor Wilson calls the international “compassionate conservation” movement “bad science and bad animal welfare” that allows animals to starve and be run over rather than managing their populations. He believes that a professional shot to the head is “far and away” the most effective control measure.

“ACT Parks and Conservation have a responsibility to biodiversity more widely. They’d abrogate that responsibility if they don’t manage kangaroo populations effectively.”

ACT Parks and Conservation Service will place warning signs and surveillance cameras at all entry points to the reserves where culls are taking place and staff will patrol the reserves during culling operations.

Callum Brae Nature Reserve, Crace Nature Reserve, East Jerrabomberra Grasslands, West Jerrabomberra Grasslands, Goorooyarroo Nature Reserve, Gungaderra Nature Reserve, Kama Nature Reserve, Mulligans Flat Nature Reserve, Mulanggari Grasslands, the Pinnacle Nature Reserve, Mount Mugga Mugga Nature Reserve, Isaacs Ridge Nature Reserve, Mount Majura Nature Reserve and Mount Ainslie Nature Reserve will be closed from Tuesday 7 May, from late afternoon until early morning each day.

The sites are to be re-opened from 26 July or earlier if the program is completed sooner.

Original Article published by Lachlan Roberts on The RiotACT.

What's Your Opinion?

26 Responses to 4076 roos to be shot during ACT’s largest kangaroo cull

Jenifer Mather Jenifer Mather 2:25 pm 13 May 19

Sarah Cowan Feral horse control in sensitive alpine environments has been stymied by animal welfare concerns, ignoring the welfare and conservation impacts on other species. Photo: Bill Kosky

If you care about wildlife, the Animal Justice Party (AJP) has some strong election policies.[1] But aspects of their policies relevant to invasive species are poor for both animal welfare and conservation. The AJP policy on introduced animals downplays the great damage they cause, and their policy on feral horses completely neglects the welfare of native animals harmed by horse damage.

I critique some of the AJP policies here – because it is election time and because a party that cares deeply about wildlife should be strong advocates for effective control of damaging invasive species.

Invasive species – particularly foxes and cats, but also rats, rabbits and chytrid fungus – have been the greatest cause of animal extinctions in Australia since European colonisation.[2] This hasn’t changed in recent times – an analysis by Tim Low of the 14 or so animal extinctions in the past 50 years shows that invasive species are still the primary cause.[3]

The Animal Justice Party is wrong in saying that that ‘anthropogenic climate disruption and changes in land use, resulting in habitat loss, are now the major contributors to species loss’. Although it may change in future as global warming intensifies, invasive species currently threaten manyfold more Australian species than climate change. A 2011 analysis by Megan Evans and colleagues found that habitat loss, introduced species and inappropriate fire regimes are the top three threats to nationally listed threatened species.[4] Introduced species (plants and animals) threaten more than three-quarters of listed mammals, birds and amphibians and more than two-thirds of listed fish and reptiles.

    Sarah Cowan Sarah Cowan 6:46 pm 13 May 19

    So ... maximum land clearing hasn't helped? And how come then we can shoot kangaroos but not horses. Personally I don't believe we should be killing any animals but I understand the necessity of killing feral species. But no matter waht anyone says I still don't believe we should be murdering our coat of arms xo

    Jenifer Mather Jenifer Mather 8:44 pm 13 May 19

    Sarah Cowan no we shouldn’t

Elaine Moss Elaine Moss 4:06 pm 10 May 19

Due to behind the scenes undermining by a competitive industry .. perhaps ...

Sarah Cowan Sarah Cowan 9:03 am 10 May 19

Kangaroos do not breed like humans. In times of low feed they do not reproduce. Kangaroos are a precious species. I wonder which other countries shoot their coat of arms. xo

Rick Withapee Rick Withapee 7:45 pm 09 May 19

Pity we cant cull those crooks in pasrliment

Carol Comerford Carol Comerford 8:50 am 09 May 19

I honestly don’t understand why you have to announce the cull! It only brings out all of the protesters!!!

I love our Kangaroos but realise why this has to be done❣️

    Sarah Cowan Sarah Cowan 8:59 am 10 May 19

    Carol, Perhaps we want to know what our 'leaders' are up to. Protesters are a necessity. xo

Sarah Cowan Sarah Cowan 7:59 am 09 May 19

So let me get this right: we can't cull feral horses in a National Park but we can cull a native species wherever they are? So, too many kangaroos? More than when we first got here? xo

    Melinda Wilkie Melinda Wilkie 8:24 am 09 May 19

    Sarah Cowan if you have driven the road from canberra to cooma, there are dead kangaroos nearly every 100metres from road deaths. Thats inhumane never seen a wild horse dead on that trip, other than kangaroos a few wombats, deers and sheep oh and once a cow.

    Isabel Robinson Isabel Robinson 7:25 pm 09 May 19

    Last winter I counted around 170 dead animals, mainly roos but also a lot of wombats, on one drive between the ACT and Cooma. They were all relatively fresh kill, and it was traumatising to witness this carnage.

    Sarah Cowan Sarah Cowan 8:57 am 10 May 19

    Melinda, I often drive that road, but the slaughter is mostly from trucks who have nothing to lose by running over wombats and roos. Car drivers are more careful due to the fact running into a creature smashes your car! They could have built under tunnels when they fixed the road but no. Melinda, these animals have been travelling the same route for maybe thousands of years, when we build roads across their path slaughter by vehicle is the outcome. It still doesn't justify slaughter. xo

    Sarah Cowan Sarah Cowan 8:57 am 10 May 19

    Isabel, I agree, but it isn't because of the amount of wildlife, it is to do with the amount of unaware drivers. xo

Marian Pearson Marian Pearson 9:02 pm 08 May 19

A sad but onlly right thing to do

James Peel James Peel 6:41 pm 08 May 19

Finally, good work.

Jennifer Buckett Jennifer Buckett 6:32 pm 08 May 19

I hope all parts are used if it has to be done.

    Alicia GAuld Alicia GAuld 10:34 am 09 May 19

    Farmers cannot harvest & use the meat but must leave it where it's killed. I don't know the protocol in a cull but I agree Jennifer Bucket.

    Jennifer Buckett Jennifer Buckett 10:51 am 09 May 19

    Alicia GAuld okay thanks.

    Sarah Cowan Sarah Cowan 9:00 am 10 May 19

    They will use NONE of the carcasses for anything. They will be left where they drop or piled up and burnt. Disgusting. xo

    Sarah Cowan Sarah Cowan 9:01 am 10 May 19

    Jennifer, it doesn't have to be done xo

    Jennifer Buckett Jennifer Buckett 9:03 am 10 May 19

    Sarah Cowan well why is it being done.

Stephen Kambouridis Stephen Kambouridis 4:22 pm 08 May 19

Too many humans.

Vale wildlife.

Dörte Planert Dörte Planert 4:12 pm 08 May 19

kangaroo meat is much leaner and healthier than pork or beef, just never got promoted to Australians in the same way.

John Gorman John Gorman 3:11 pm 08 May 19

Just needs to happen, dont worry they'll be breed back up soon enough

    Sarah Cowan Sarah Cowan 9:05 am 10 May 19

    John, there are too many humans, so using your logic we should be grateful to the loonies who go on mass human shootings to cull the human population? xo

Maria Bakas-booker Maria Bakas-booker 2:55 pm 08 May 19

?? Knowledge always changes. Not good capacity to foresee or do longuitudinal studies. Story of our species.