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

Lachlan Roberts and Genevieve Jacobs 8 May 2019 96

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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90 Responses to 4076 roos to be shot during ACT’s largest kangaroo cull
Jackie White Jackie White 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.

Cheryl Greentree Cheryl Greentree 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"!

Cheryl Greentree Cheryl Greentree 2:08 pm 09 May 19

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

Katinka Von Luken Katinka Von Luken 11:30 am 09 May 19

Well they'd know bad science

Jo V Hanna Jo V Hanna 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!

Matt Dent Matt Dent 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.

Harry Kelvin Harry Kelvin 1:04 pm 08 May 19

Gabz the comments...

Terry Butters Terry Butters 11:03 am 08 May 19

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

Wes Dempsey Wes Dempsey 10:57 am 08 May 19

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

    Shaun Adams Shaun Adams 9:00 pm 08 May 19

    the country is full of morons like this, thye need to be locked up in deep dark pits.

    Anna Francesca Clancy Anna Francesca Clancy 10:30 pm 08 May 19

    Wtf is wrong with you? It’s disturbing Rejoicing in any animal’s death, let alone an intelligent and curious animal like a kangaroo!

Paul Tye Paul Tye 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.

    Ian Baird Ian Baird 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.

    Ian Baird Ian Baird 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.

Jackie Fuller Jackie Fuller 8:06 am 08 May 19

Very sad

Angela Hunter Angela Hunter 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.


    Kurt Halbauer Kurt Halbauer 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?

    Liz Dovey Liz Dovey 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.

    Jo V Hanna Jo V Hanna 1:21 pm 10 May 19

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

Terry Butters Terry Butters 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!

Jocelyn Dexter Jocelyn Dexter 6:53 am 08 May 19


Sabrina Muscat Sabrina Muscat 6:45 am 08 May 19

Kate Swan first the horses, then the cats , now the kangaroos. What did I tell you ..

Margaret Gracie Margaret Gracie 6:31 am 08 May 19

We've taken over their environment and now we will kill them because of it. Humans are disgusting, any wonder the world is on the verge of destruction.

Benny Preen Benny Preen 5:59 am 08 May 19

And we still pay through the ass for roo meat? I’m vegetarian and I’d still rather see people eat meat that is actually available to us not meat that we produce that harms the environment.

Stuart Mawbey Stuart Mawbey 5:58 am 08 May 19

Vegans would condemn Kangaroos to overpopulate, die of starvation and disease, get run over by cars. The only thing thing they suggest is desexing the animals, ok, who pays for that, every animal activist? get real. People have been eating kangaroo for at least 80,000 years, and its a shame to see them wasted as they will be in this cull. I'd rather we ate them. But we cant have everything.

    Saelig Smythe Saelig Smythe 6:57 am 08 May 19

    Maybe the problem is human over population on the planet and they should use the same method on them?

    Stuart Mawbey Stuart Mawbey 6:58 am 08 May 19

    Saelig Smythe you first, then me, maybe

    Saelig Smythe Saelig Smythe 6:58 am 08 May 19

    No, just the stupid politicians, then their supporters....cough

    Fee Mcgoo Fee Mcgoo 7:14 am 08 May 19

    Stuart Mawbey I don't. It makes sense

    Stuart Mawbey Stuart Mawbey 7:15 am 08 May 19

    Fee Mcgoo you've always had a fair bit of sense, Fee Mcgoo and a compassionate vegan to boot.

Christopher Mawbey Christopher Mawbey 5:29 am 08 May 19

Get to it

Faye Dela Torre Salcedo Faye Dela Torre Salcedo 5:16 am 08 May 19

Can we move them instead this is really disturbing.

    Mark Casao Mark Casao 6:21 am 08 May 19

    Faye Dela Torre Salcedo kangaroos are about double of the Australian population. They're like rabbits

    Shaun Adams Shaun Adams 8:58 pm 08 May 19

    like rabbits? a rabbit in australia can breed all year producing 7-8 young, a kangaroo is a marsupial , can only breed once a year and that doesnt start until there 3-4 years old. most roos dont live very long in this country, meaning they produce veyr few offspring. it takes knowledge to understand an animal, it take stupidity and a sheep mentality to repeat propaganda.

    Shaun Adams Shaun Adams 8:59 pm 08 May 19

    plus the so called popualtion of roos is a guess!! a complete guess based on incredibly dodgey science. so noone knows how many roos there are in the country. my guess from going over roo industry data over the past 20 years, they would be no more than 1 or 2 million nationwide, and thats on the high side.

    Faye Dela Torre Salcedo Faye Dela Torre Salcedo 10:38 pm 08 May 19

    Shaun Adams 😱

    Ian Baird Ian Baird 12:15 am 09 May 19

    No, they cannot be moved. They are not herd animals. Any attempt to herd them causes significant stress. Anyway, moving them would just move the problem elsewhere into other kangaroos’ territory.

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