The ACT Government will begin culling around 1650 eastern grey kangaroos across Canberra from this evening.
This year’s cull will be focused on nine nature reserves around the Territory and these will be closed overnight from Sundays to Thursdays to allow the annual program to get underway.
The nature reserves will be open during the day and from Friday mornings to Sunday afternoons.
The sites are expected to re-open fully from 31 July, or sooner if the program is completed earlier.
ACT Parks and Conservation Service executive branch manager Stephen Alegria said a cull would be undertaken at Red Hill Nature Reserve for the first time to manage “unsuitable numbers”.
Mr Alegria explained the cull was intended to help maintain appropriate grazing pressure in the Territory’s grassy ecosystems.
“The ACT Government is committed to evidence-based kangaroo management, including fencing, fertility control and culling,” he said.
“Operations are also undertaken in conjunction with other forms of grazing management, like rabbit control, burning and strategic livestock grazing, which enable us to achieve conservation outcomes in the face of fluctuating climatic conditions.
“Kangaroo management, including culling and fertility control, is based on ecological assessments at each location and only take place if densities are found to be above the level deemed appropriate for biodiversity conservation.”
The ACT Government said the cull is undertaken in accordance with national guidelines and additional measures are employed to ensure best-practice animal welfare standards are met.
Last year, just over 1500 eastern greys were killed across five nature reserves. Some of the carcasses were used in an endangered native species breeding program.
Earlier this year, the Territory government announced it would begin using darts loaded with contraceptives in an attempt to slow the population growth of kangaroos.
But that program, which comes with an annual price tag of $300,000, wouldn’t be able to stop the government from relying on the somewhat controversial annual cull.
When announcing fertility control measures, Minister for the Environment Rebecca Vassarotti hoped it would reduce the number of animals that needed to be culled.
Culls will be conducted from 6 pm to 7 am on Sundays to Thursdays at:
- Mt Ainslie Nature Reserve
- Mt Majura Nature Reserve
- Goorooyarroo Nature Reserve
- Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary
- Red Hill Nature Reserve
- West Jerrabomberra Grasslands Reserve
- Isaacs Ridge Nature Reserve
- Mount Mugga Mugga Nature Reserve
- Callum Brae Nature Reserve.
Warning signs will be placed at all entry points to the reserves, surveillance cameras will be used and reserves will be patrolled by Parks and Conservation Service staff during operations to maximise safety.
Detailed closure times are available at Parks ACT.