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

Lachlan Roberts and Genevieve Jacobs 7 May 2019 123

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.

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123 Responses to
4076 roos to be shot during ACT’s largest kangaroo cull
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longlunch 1:03 am 12 May 19

The funniest thing about this thread is how a group of people who would usually tell everyone to accept the science on one issue (climate change) are now urging people to disregard the science on another issue because it doesn’t fit within their viewpoint.

4:36 pm 09 May 19

One extreme to the other. 20 years ago, roos were protected. Panel beaters made a great living.

Now, apparently, there are too many and the local grasses can't hack it.

I await the next 'expert' opinion and change of direction.

2:11 pm 09 May 19

Why doesn't the ACT Government cull all the wombats, kangaroos, birds, reptiles snd anything else that moves! Then Canberrans can all live in a "dead zone"!

2:08 pm 09 May 19

Maybe the ACT Government should cull all the birds as well. They are such a nuisance!!

maxblues 12:15 pm 09 May 19

Is the 4077th roo to be lucky because Parks and Conservation are fans of M.A.S.H.?

11:30 am 09 May 19

Well they'd know bad science

10:34 am 09 May 19

Kangaroos do not need “management”, nature takes care of that. Humans however is a different story. They breed in staggering numbers and cause havoc on the environment!

Jo V Hanna 10:33 am 09 May 19

Kangaroos do not need “management”, nature takes care of that. Humans however is a different story. They breed in staggering numbers and cause havoc on the environment!!

bigred 7:57 am 09 May 19

If they run short on the hopping rodent target they should move onto possums. I find they are fighting with the feral and outdoor cat population over my way and making terrible noises as they scrap. The cats seem to be getting on top. There is also the odd fox roaming around suburban chook pens.

Spiral 7:21 am 09 May 19

I wonder how many of those people who complain that the problem is that there are too many people will vote in the upcoming election for a party which is in favour of high migration.

Perhaps this is a topic that both the Left and Right could finally agree on.

The Right could push for lower migration for their well publicised reasons and the Left could push for lower migration to help slow down the increasing strain on our resources and help protect kangaroos.

12:04 am 09 May 19

The problem is that we created an artificial paradise for roos by expanding their feeding grounds and wiping out the aboriginals. Now there's an overpopulated situation.

However we should be eating way more roo and less cow as they're far less damaging to the land.

Timothy Hughes 10:15 pm 08 May 19

Great news, but I think they should stop mucking around every year and cull 10 000, this would be so beneficial to the ACT. Just ignore the bleeding hearts.

1:04 pm 08 May 19

Gabz the comments...

11:03 am 08 May 19

I’d think that crocodiles should be culled, but they aren’t!

10:57 am 08 May 19

I for one can’t wait! Boom click boom!!

10:08 am 08 May 19

Having grown up on a farm during the 80s drought and watched how drought affects high kangaroo numbers it's horrible to watch them starve to death. I know people don't like animals being killed, but this is way more humane than letting them continue as they are.

    4:59 pm 08 May 19

    The kangaroos here are not starving. They are in good nick in this region.

    12:01 am 09 May 19

    Because there is permanent water available to them here and no natural predators in Canberra they are overgrazing their pasture to the detriment of other native species.That is the reason their numbers need to be reduced by culling.

    7:03 am 09 May 19

    And they are not overpopulated. They control their own numbers Ian.

    10:07 am 09 May 19

    Carolyn Drew No, they obviously don't control their own numbers because at best it requires an effective drought for that bio-control to happen. That bio-control mechanism is predominantly a feature of the Red Kangaroo's biology anyway, but the Eastern Grey has that mechanism to a lesser degree. These are Eastern Grey kangaroos - and because there is pernanaent water available for them here there is no effective drought for them in Canberra.

8:06 am 08 May 19

Very sad

7:47 am 08 May 19

Humans are so arrogant. Why do we always think that it's our job to "manage" nature.

What they're really saying is... we've claimed and built on their land, and so now we're going to kill them because they're bothering us.


    8:06 am 08 May 19

    Angela Hunter we kill them because the oversupply of kangaroos is endangering other native flora and fauna. If this doesn't happen then species go extinct and entire ecosystems could collapse. It's not ARROGANT, it's harm minimisation. Don't like it that we claimed and built on their land? How do you propose humans live then?

    4:59 pm 08 May 19

    I agree Angela!

    5:00 pm 08 May 19

    Kurt Halbauer that is a load of garbage. They are not threatening any other species. You really need to stop being a sponge.

    7:55 pm 08 May 19

    Carolyn Drew That's untrue. There are in fact many species directly threatened by kangaroo overgrazing, especially native grassland species. The numbers of kangaroos are artificially high anyway - they thrive in ecotone situations (along woodland/grassland boundaries) and where artificial water sources have been added as across much of settled Australia.

    7:09 am 09 May 19

    Liz Dovey like the Grasslands Earless Dragon eh? For years the ACT government has trotted out this animal as one of the main reasons to shoot the roo because they supposedly threatened it. And we pointed out how utterly untrue this was. And guess what only a few week ago an ACT ecologist stated clearly that the thing that was threatening the Earless Dragon was African Lovegrass! The kangaroo has lived on this continent for thousands of years. Along side the other animals. They live in harmony with their surrounds. They do not overgraze. They move when they need to to allow the grasses to grow back again. If they didn't do this they would have died off years ago.

    10:38 pm 09 May 19

    So Angela are we supposed to get out of the way of the expanding roo mobs? Where do we go? Do we uproot buildings, roads, infrastructure and move the lot hollus-bollus to … ummm …. where? Get real.

    1:21 pm 10 May 19

    If only humans would manage themselves......😏

7:41 am 08 May 19

Great, let’s start thinking about culling humans, the biggest threat to our environment and we can start with over 60 year olds, this would help reduce the costs of age care as well!

6:53 am 08 May 19


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