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Rushed cull gets ACAT greenlight

By johnboy 10 July 2013 77

The judicial terrorism of the anti-cull nutjobs is mercifully at an end with TAMS declaring victory in their fight to manage kangaroo numbers:

The ACT Government today announced the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal (ACAT) has decided to uphold the licences issued by the Conservator of Flora and Fauna to undertake a kangaroo conservation cull to protect biodiversity in seven local reserves.

“The outcome of the hearing supports the scientific basis that underpins the need to undertake the conservation cull of Eastern grey kangaroos in the ACT,” said Daniel Iglesias, Director, ACT Parks and Conservation. “This is the second time that ACAT has upheld this science in the last five years.

“ACAT has ruled that culling can take place in each of the seven proposed reserves and adjacent unleased land. There has been a slight reduction in numbers for five of the licences meaning the conservation cull is for up to 1244 kangaroos, rather than the original plan of 1455.

“There is a significant volume of scientific evidence which demonstrates the impact that an overabundant kangaroo population has on other flora and fauna, including several local studies and countless national studies.

“The numbers of kangaroos to be culled have been based on scientific kangaroo counts in each location. This is then compared to what ACT Government ecologists establish as the sustainable carrying capacity for each area, taking into account the habitat requirements of grassland dependent animals and plants.

“The conservation cull is needed to maintain populations at appropriate levels to minimise impact on other flora and fauna. Ensuring that grasslands and woodlands are not overgrazed will protect threatened species and ecosystems, provide habitat for creatures such as lizards and ground-feeding birds, prevent excessive soil loss and maintain sustainable numbers of kangaroos.”

Mr Iglesias said the reserves will close again from midday on Thursday 11 July 2013 until midday on Thursday 1 August 2013 to allow the conservation cull to take place. The closures are for 24 hours per day and have been implemented to best meet operational and safety requirements.

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Rushed cull gets ACAT greenlight
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MrBigEars 7:53 am 17 Jul 13

IrishPete said :

Firstly, if true, this hasn’t been clearly communicated to the public.

and secondly, surely then, the cull should be approved for a period of years, and not re-announced each year? That would take the protesters and ACAT out of the picture.

IP

I think the long term strategy (as outlined by the Management Plan) is hobbled by the legal requirement to apply for a license every year, and probably the political implications as well. I don’t think there’s anyway around that either, as PCL has to obey the same rules as every other entity or the system starts to become redundant.

And nothing is going to take the protestors out of the picture. Except maybe communism.

tuco 11:37 am 16 Jul 13

IrishPete said :

tuco said :

“So what do you do for a job mate?”
“I estimate transient and fixed kangaroo populations from the pellets.”
“So you count pieces of roo s***?”
“Err, yes.”

Science isn’t always glamorous. Google “PPG.sex offender” – someone has to fit the device to the subject…

IP

“Err, no.” 🙂

IrishPete 10:21 am 16 Jul 13

MrBigEars said :

You get a reduction in density at a specific time. The population doesn’t instantaneously recover, so there is a period in which even though the kangaroo population is increasing it is still lower than before. Of course this means ongoing, yearly management, but I don’t think anyone thought there was an easy solution.

Firstly, if true, this hasn’t been clearly communicated to the public.

and secondly, surely then, the cull should be approved for a period of years, and not re-announced each year? That would take the protesters and ACAT out of the picture.

IP

IrishPete 10:19 am 16 Jul 13

tuco said :

“So what do you do for a job mate?”
“I estimate transient and fixed kangaroo populations from the pellets.”
“So you count pieces of roo s***?”
“Err, yes.”

Science isn’t always glamorous. Google “PPG.sex offender” – someone has to fit the device to the subject…

IP

MrBigEars 9:49 am 16 Jul 13

IrishPete said :

So far as I can tell from a bit of Googling, a population increase of about 50% per year is considered possible. Some say as high as 70 and some as low as 30. The variation depends on conditions (availabilty of,food) and predation I presume.

In none of those scenarios is doubling or more than doubling in one year possible, especially given that Joeys are killed with their mother, so you would expect a significant lag in any increase.

Amd if the numbers in each reserve are just bouncing back each year as a result of migration, what benefit can there possibly from the cull?

IP

You get a reduction in density at a specific time. The population doesn’t instantaneously recover, so there is a period in which even though the kangaroo population is increasing it is still lower than before. Of course this means ongoing, yearly management, but I don’t think anyone thought there was an easy solution.

IrishPete 9:23 am 16 Jul 13

MrBigEars said :

IrishPete said :

IrishPete said :

Which reserves and what year?

part of the source is this http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/huge-roo-cull-call-aims-to-kill-2000-20130601-2nj5m.html

Interesting. I’m not 100% but I don’t think there was a cull in 2008 in Callum Brae, only the Naval signal place. From the KMP, there was at least 180 kangaroos (via a single direct count) in Callum Brae in spring 2008, and another count in spring 2009 estimates 296 (via pellet count). The cull in July 2009 had a license for 140, but I don’t know the actual take-off so I’ll assume 140. (Might be less. PCL applied to kill over 700 and and killed 500.) So from over 180 in 2008, the population rose to ~429 in a year-ish. Not particularly extraordinary at a local or regional scale, because, as you point out, there would be significant potential for pre-cull invasion from the surrounding areas.

I don’t know specifically about kangaroos (my population management experience is in cats foxes and rabbits) but the goal isn’t total removal, because that is impossible. The idea is to push density down at sensitive times in sensitive places, to achieve a specific goal or to improve a specific indicator (like beetle diversity, or small reptile abundance).

It’s important to remember that the nature parks in Canberra are really first stage-rehabiliation farm land. Successful rehab (which will require grazing management) is decadal in length. Results that would make the lay-person or protestor happy are 20 years away. Hopefully there will be research fruit published at the end of the veg study (2016 is the time frame I heard).

I apologise for not replying to the other thread.

So far as I can tell from a bit of Googling, a population increase of about 50% per year is considered possible. Some say as high as 70 and some as low as 30. The variation depends on conditions (availabilty of,food) and predation I presume.

In none of those scenarios is doubling or more than doubling in one year possible, especially given that Joeys are killed with their mother, so you would expect a significant lag in any increase.

Amd if the numbers in each reserve are just bouncing back each year as a result of migration, what benefit can there possibly from the cull?

IP

tuco 9:10 am 16 Jul 13

MrBigEars said :

IrishPete said :

IrishPete said :

Which reserves and what year?

part of the source is this http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/huge-roo-cull-call-aims-to-kill-2000-20130601-2nj5m.html

Interesting. I’m not 100% but I don’t think there was a cull in 2008 in Callum Brae, only the Naval signal place. From the KMP, there was at least 180 kangaroos (via a single direct count) in Callum Brae in spring 2008, and another count in spring 2009 estimates 296 (via pellet count).

“So what do you do for a job mate?”
“I estimate transient and fixed kangaroo populations from the pellets.”
“So you count pieces of roo s***?”
“Err, yes.”

MrBigEars 8:26 pm 15 Jul 13

IrishPete said :

IrishPete said :

Which reserves and what year?

part of the source is this http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/huge-roo-cull-call-aims-to-kill-2000-20130601-2nj5m.html

Interesting. I’m not 100% but I don’t think there was a cull in 2008 in Callum Brae, only the Naval signal place. From the KMP, there was at least 180 kangaroos (via a single direct count) in Callum Brae in spring 2008, and another count in spring 2009 estimates 296 (via pellet count). The cull in July 2009 had a license for 140, but I don’t know the actual take-off so I’ll assume 140. (Might be less. PCL applied to kill over 700 and and killed 500.) So from over 180 in 2008, the population rose to ~429 in a year-ish. Not particularly extraordinary at a local or regional scale, because, as you point out, there would be significant potential for pre-cull invasion from the surrounding areas.

I don’t know specifically about kangaroos (my population management experience is in cats foxes and rabbits) but the goal isn’t total removal, because that is impossible. The idea is to push density down at sensitive times in sensitive places, to achieve a specific goal or to improve a specific indicator (like beetle diversity, or small reptile abundance).

It’s important to remember that the nature parks in Canberra are really first stage-rehabiliation farm land. Successful rehab (which will require grazing management) is decadal in length. Results that would make the lay-person or protestor happy are 20 years away. Hopefully there will be research fruit published at the end of the veg study (2016 is the time frame I heard).

I apologise for not replying to the other thread.

IrishPete 7:02 pm 15 Jul 13

MrBigEars said :

Which reserves and what year?

and this one http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/roos-bounce-back-after-cull-20130614-2oa3n.html

IrishPete 6:31 pm 15 Jul 13

IrishPete said :

Which reserves and what year?

part of the source is this http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/huge-roo-cull-call-aims-to-kill-2000-20130601-2nj5m.html

IrishPete 6:28 pm 15 Jul 13

MrBigEars said :

IrishPete said :

As someone else has pointed out, the analogy with amateur pest control is invalid. As I have been unable to find population figures for kangaroos in the ACT, my own suspicion is that the ACT cull is an overall trim, and will have limited effect on road safety or starvation, though it may have an effect on issues like plant and small animal ecology in localised areas, unless and until another population of roos moves into the local area from the vast areas and populations not being culled in and around the ACT. The population increase figures for some of the culled reserves already show that replacement occurs too quickly to have been the result of breeding. So either the numbers are wrong, or the populations are more mobile than the ACT Government is claiming.

IP

Which reserves and what year?

See post 19 here http://the-riotact.com/skippy-lovers-keep-the-cull-in-court/107148

IP

MrBigEars 12:32 pm 15 Jul 13

IrishPete said :

As someone else has pointed out, the analogy with amateur pest control is invalid. As I have been unable to find population figures for kangaroos in the ACT, my own suspicion is that the ACT cull is an overall trim, and will have limited effect on road safety or starvation, though it may have an effect on issues like plant and small animal ecology in localised areas, unless and until another population of roos moves into the local area from the vast areas and populations not being culled in and around the ACT. The population increase figures for some of the culled reserves already show that replacement occurs too quickly to have been the result of breeding. So either the numbers are wrong, or the populations are more mobile than the ACT Government is claiming.

IP

Which reserves and what year?

IrishPete 10:35 am 15 Jul 13

CraigT said :

IrishPete said :

We have a word for it here in Australia, it’s called “democracy”

Yes, they had one of those in Germany in 1933, too – it’s like a magic fairy wand that makes everything alright.

The problem with wishful thinkers is, just like people experiencing any other kind of anomalous psychiatric pattern, they have no idea how to recognise the irrationality of their thinking process.
“I don’t believe the science, something inside my head tells me something and all the relevant grown-ups who are saying the opposite must therefore be wrong”.

These kind of people *also* oppose shooting feral animals in national parks – they just “don’t believe” that reducing a population would reduce the cumulative effect on the environment of the individuals that make up that population.

Or that locking up criminals would recude crime.

It’s the same kind of thinking process that makes religion possible. Completely bananas.

Ah yes, Godwin’s Law finally raises its head.

If you had used my longer quote, including the comment about judicial review, then you would realise that if there had been independent judicial review of executive decisions in Nazi Germany in the 1930s, then Hitler’s powers would have been greatly curtailed. Democracy can never stand alone – it needs to be backed up by strong human rights, preferably in an almost untouchable Constitution, not just in law that can be changed by the Executive. Otherwise a group who comprise 51% of the population can exterminate the other 49%, but still claim to be democratic.

As someone else has pointed out, the analogy with amateur pest control is invalid. As I have been unable to find population figures for kangaroos in the ACT, my own suspicion is that the ACT cull is an overall trim, and will have limited effect on road safety or starvation, though it may have an effect on issues like plant and small animal ecology in localised areas, unless and until another population of roos moves into the local area from the vast areas and populations not being culled in and around the ACT. The population increase figures for some of the culled reserves already show that replacement occurs too quickly to have been the result of breeding. So either the numbers are wrong, or the populations are more mobile than the ACT Government is claiming.

The comment about crime and imprisonment is contrary to the science – the research on imprisonment and crime is clear and unequivocal. Locking people up does not prevent crime. Here is not the place for that debate, but you’re on my turf here, and while my knowledge of the science of macropods may be fairly slim, my knowledge of the science of crime and offenders is not (and my ability to understand ANY research is probably on the higher end of the scale among RiotACT contributors).

IP

IrishPete 10:23 am 15 Jul 13

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd said :

You can choose to draw your own conclusions all you like, petey boy, but that still means that science is right and you are wrong.

because contemporary science has never subsequently been proven wrong.

IP

MrBigEars 9:56 am 15 Jul 13

CraigT said :

IrishPete said :

We have a word for it here in Australia, it’s called “democracy”

Yes, they had one of those in Germany in 1933, too – it’s like a magic fairy wand that makes everything alright.

The problem with wishful thinkers is, just like people experiencing any other kind of anomalous psychiatric pattern, they have no idea how to recognise the irrationality of their thinking process.
“I don’t believe the science, something inside my head tells me something and all the relevant grown-ups who are saying the opposite must therefore be wrong”.

These kind of people *also* oppose shooting feral animals in national parks – they just “don’t believe” that reducing a population would reduce the cumulative effect on the environment of the individuals that make up that population.

Or that locking up criminals would recude crime.

It’s the same kind of thinking process that makes religion possible. Completely bananas.

It’s confirmation bias. We are all guilty of it, to one degree or another.

Not to move this onto a tangent, but ad hoc removal of 1-2% of the feral population annually by amateur hunting is largely ineffective. If you have a 100 rabbits in an area, but over winter only food for 60, you will end up with 60. If you have a 100 rabbits in an area, but over winter only food for 60, and you shoot 2, you will end up with 60.

http://www.invasives.org.au/documents/file/reports/EssayProject_RecHunting_FeralControl.pdf

That’s not to say there isn’t a role for sporting shooters in biodiversity conservation, but only in a specific, co-ordinated effort. Like shooters patroling a fenced feral proof reserve, pushing back foxes and cats, or protecting sea bird breeding colonies from dogs and cats.

Thumper 9:36 am 15 Jul 13

Are there currently any roos starving to death? Is there any evidence that the cull reduces car-strikes? Once again, the science claimed to support the cull is about little critters and plants. You cannot rely on science to support the cull, and then throw in starvation and road safety for which there is no research. That’s what we call being inconsistent. It grossly undermines your arguing position.

Are we culling them because they are starving? Or because they will starve?

Or maybe it’s because they are trashing the environment?

Or was it because cars keep crashing into them?

Or because they hang around civic late at looking seedy?

I’m confused….

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