The Mayor v. Skippy. It’s personal now

johnboy 6 June 2013 41

kangaroos

With not a month gone since Mayor Rattenbury was assaulted by a Kangaroo to world notoriety it’s intriguing his department has now announced an expanded cull:

The ACT Government wishes to advise that a conservation cull to reduce overpopulation of Eastern Grey Kangaroos and protect biodiversity in some Canberra nature reserves will be undertaken this Winter.

“The conservation cull of up to 1,455 eastern grey kangaroos is needed to maintain populations at appropriate levels to minimise impact on other flora and fauna,” said Daniel Iglesias, Director of Parks and Conservation.

“The impact of overgrazing on our grasslands and grassy woodlands and the species that rely on them, such as the Grassland Earless Dragon, the Striped Legless Lizard and the Button Wrinklewort, can be easily seen in the deterioration of our nature reserves.

“The numbers 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.

“Ensuring the 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.

“The conservation cull will be conducted according to a strict Code of Practice that has the endorsement of all relevant authorities including the RSPCA. Rangers and security staff will patrol areas to ensure the safety of the public with warning signs also being installed at all entry points to the reserves.

“This year we will be using up to 20% of the kangaroo meat to make baits to use in our wild dog and fox control programs. This is in response to community concern that kangaroo meat was going to waste.

They’ve also produced a lengthy Q and A to convince you and sent us the above photo taken at The Pinnacle to demonstrate both roo numbers and what the grass could look like if the hoppers are kept off.

At the risk of invoking Godwin let’s hope they’re not working towards the Fuhrer.


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41 Responses to The Mayor v. Skippy. It’s personal now
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Mysteryman Mysteryman 9:12 am 08 Jun 13

EvanJames said :

Thumper said :

Frankly, it’s lazy and cheap politics as well as being cruel.

Rattenbury should take a good hard look at himself in the mirror to ascertain wheyher he’s actually a member of the ALP or Greens these days.

I’d suggest the former.

Totally agree. It’s very, very disappointing.

People seem to think of “the cull” like a video game, quick and clinical. But the footage we saw of the last one was bloody horrible, the roos were herded into a fenced area and you saw them desperately trying to get out as they saw their herd-mates being shot. Jesus!

Nope. Most of us know how it’s done. We just don’t care because we aren’t a bunch of whiny knobs who think our feelings are as important as actual data on the welfare of the greater kangaroo population.

FootyFan FootyFan 11:54 pm 07 Jun 13

EvanJames said :

It’s not starting to sound like Japan’s scientific whaling, it’s been dodgy from the start.

The Science: Jeez, there’s a lot of roos in that paddock. One almost hit my car! I heard a guy at work hit one last week. There’s too many of them! Let’s have a Scientific Cull.

This just screams of ignorance. 3-4 years ago I did my college work experience with ACT Parks and Recreation, and my supervisors for the week were the scientists who direct the kangaroo culls. I was highly impressed with the research and careful monitoring of the populations and environment that determines when it’s appropriate to implement another cull; they are also genuinely concerned with the welfare of the animals themselves. They are basing it on carefully gathered empirical data; you, on the other hand, are saying it’s wrong because “you have a feeling it is”.

Do some field research yourself (or find someone who has) and then present a better case.

HiddenDragon HiddenDragon 2:46 pm 07 Jun 13

When I saw the “working towards the Fuhrer” link, I thought it would be something to do with the “this is how the Nazis got started” line of argument (we’re not seeing nearly enough of that rhetorical gem on the RiotAct, by the way….), but was fascinated to find it’s something quite different. This is, indeed, an interesting coincidence – had Henry II been a cyclist, he may well have said “will no one rid me of this turbulent marsupial???”

James-T-Kirk James-T-Kirk 2:21 pm 07 Jun 13

Does this mean that there will be heaps of cheap roo meat at woolies?

Watson Watson 1:16 pm 07 Jun 13

crappicker said :

Extract from:

2013 Kangaroo Conservation Control Program – Questions and Answers
Why does the ACT Government undertake conservation culls?

“Work is currently being undertaken with the CSIRO through the Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre. A successful injected vaccine has blocked fertility of all treated kangaroos for three breeding seasons to date. This work is still in the scientific research stage and due to the drug’s administration via injection it is only suitable for small captive populations.”

It would take a little retraining of the mercenary shooters to use dart guns for tranquilizing the kangaroos and I guess some more re-education of the follow-up henchmen, the ones doing the joey bashing, to administer the fertility-blocking vaccine.

Thus the ACT government has the capability to manage kangaroo populations through fertility control rather than through cruel slaughter but is lacking the political will.

Gutless and outrageous!!

#35 beat you to it and makes a lot more sense.

Not killing is not always the most humane thing to do. Those ‘humane mouse traps’ for example. The RSPCA advises against them because in most cases the mice end up dying from stress either in the trap or when they are released in a completely foreign environment. Therefor the snap trap is better for everyone involved. Or a quick blow to the back of the neck.

And I wonder if the bleeding hearts who go about rescuing joeys from the cull (or from road kill for that matter) actually give those a contraceptive implant before they release them?

I will never forget the protests against the cull a few years back and a photo of an activist in front of the Legislative Assembly holding a tiny joey that he ‘rescued’ from the cull close to his chest. That image still haunts me today. We clearly don’t always agree on what is humane…

crappicker crappicker 12:05 pm 07 Jun 13

Extract from:

2013 Kangaroo Conservation Control Program – Questions and Answers
Why does the ACT Government undertake conservation culls?

“Work is currently being undertaken with the CSIRO through the Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre. A successful injected vaccine has blocked fertility of all treated kangaroos for three breeding seasons to date. This work is still in the scientific research stage and due to the drug’s administration via injection it is only suitable for small captive populations.”

It would take a little retraining of the mercenary shooters to use dart guns for tranquilizing the kangaroos and I guess some more re-education of the follow-up henchmen, the ones doing the joey bashing, to administer the fertility-blocking vaccine.

Thus the ACT government has the capability to manage kangaroo populations through fertility control rather than through cruel slaughter but is lacking the political will.

Gutless and outrageous!!

MrBigEars MrBigEars 11:58 am 07 Jun 13

poetix said :

The cull is a revolting thing; surely there must be another solution? How are they going with contraceptives for Skippy (or Mr Skippy)? The legless, earless and wrinkled lived side by side with kangaroos (and people who didn’t wreck the land) for many years.

There is something very sad about our national symbol being killed en masse and chopped up to poison feral animals.

Cotraceptives exist, and they are quite effective. The prohibitive downside is that you have to chemically restrain the kangaroo, surgically implant them with the contraceptive, then revive them. To be able to achieve a reduction in numbers, you would need to do a lot of darting and surgery. This is not without significant risk, as kangaroos are known to die quite readily from capture myopathy (where the heart muscle can’t cope with the stress hormones and dies). From an ethics and legal point of view, the sure, quick death by bullet is preferable to risk of stress-induced death by capture.

Perhaps what is required is large-scale trial, but knowingly exposing animals to suffering is hard to get an ethics committee to sign off on, and could expose the department to an animal cruelty prosecution. Perhaps some of the animal groups would like to do it, and wear the cost and the risk?

The other downside is that you wont achieve a significant control environmental impacts immediately through fertility control. Any reduction will be in future seasons, and will be unpredictable. Fertility control is certainly part of the solution, but it is not the magic wand that a lot of people want it to be. In the end, ACT government has an obligation to mitigate impacts on reserves, so they are going to do it with “best-practice” or “least-worst” methods. It’s not ideal, but it’s what it is.

In the end, this is such a logistical and political headfeck that I can’t believe anyone would do it if they didn’t believe it needed doing.

Gingera Gingera 11:39 am 07 Jun 13

EvanJames said :

Thumper said :

Frankly, it’s lazy and cheap politics as well as being cruel.

Rattenbury should take a good hard look at himself in the mirror to ascertain wheyher he’s actually a member of the ALP or Greens these days.

I’d suggest the former.

People seem to think of “the cull” like a video game, quick and clinical. But the footage we saw of the last one was bloody horrible, the roos were herded into a fenced area and you saw them desperately trying to get out as they saw their herd-mates being shot. Jesus!

I think the footage you are referring to is from the cull at belconnen about 6 or 7 years ago when they were herding all the kangaroos during the day into killing pens ……this was done by defence not ACT

Watson Watson 11:19 am 07 Jun 13

Thumper said :

Frankly, it’s lazy and cheap politics as well as being cruel.

Rattenbury should take a good hard look at himself in the mirror to ascertain wheyher he’s actually a member of the ALP or Greens these days.

I’d suggest the former.

Again, why would being a Green or an environmentalist clash with being pro roo cull?

And to those lamenting on the good old days before the bad white men started killing roos en mass, apparently when the first Europeans arrived in Australia the sighting of a kangaroo was a fairly rare event because… they were hunted consistently and efficiently by the original inhabitants of the land. I read that in a Tim Flannery book, “The Future Eaters” possibly?

EvanJames EvanJames 11:08 am 07 Jun 13

Thumper said :

Frankly, it’s lazy and cheap politics as well as being cruel.

Rattenbury should take a good hard look at himself in the mirror to ascertain wheyher he’s actually a member of the ALP or Greens these days.

I’d suggest the former.

Totally agree. It’s very, very disappointing.

People seem to think of “the cull” like a video game, quick and clinical. But the footage we saw of the last one was bloody horrible, the roos were herded into a fenced area and you saw them desperately trying to get out as they saw their herd-mates being shot. Jesus!

460cixy 460cixy 10:30 am 07 Jun 13

The bleeding hearts are now taking it to court the clog the system up even more why do they advertise what there doing? And not just wop in to the roos and deal with the fall out from the water melons later?

Thumper Thumper 9:58 am 07 Jun 13

Frankly, it’s lazy and cheap politics as well as being cruel.

Rattenbury should take a good hard look at himself in the mirror to ascertain wheyher he’s actually a member of the ALP or Greens these days.

I’d suggest the former.

poetix poetix 9:33 am 07 Jun 13

But have you heard of the Unbuttoned Wrinklewort?

Also known as the Michael Douglas.

***

The cull is a revolting thing; surely there must be another solution? How are they going with contraceptives for Skippy (or Mr Skippy)? The legless, earless and wrinkled lived side by side with kangaroos (and people who didn’t wreck the land) for many years.

There is something very sad about our national symbol being killed en masse and chopped up to poison feral animals.

Bubbalo_Bill Bubbalo_Bill 11:53 pm 06 Jun 13

Endrey said :

Hmm…up to 20%. Why not say up to 100%?

That way you still include the possibility of zero and get to sound far less wasteful.

I was suspicious about that too, Chris – but the longer Q&A linked to in the original post says it’ll be from 15 to 20%.

EvanJames EvanJames 11:39 pm 06 Jun 13

Anna Key said :

I’m just glad Shane is out to protect Button Wrinklewort. (no idea what it is but has a great name!)

I’ve got quite a bit of that on my place, and craploads of roos. Hmmm.
http://www.environment.gov.au/cgi-bin/sprat/public/publicspecies.pl?taxon_id=7384

Punter Punter 9:17 pm 06 Jun 13

I heard a radio personality only today say there are claims if the cull goes ahead, there is a risk their population will be under threat. I get outside in Canberra from time to time and I see the population of kangaroos is without question over-represented (for a word) and, in spite of the expansion of the suburbs of Canberra, I see more bush than not only within our fine city and indeed territory limits, but for acres upon acres afield from our borders.

All this aside however, is it possible? Could Canberra really look like that picture of grass?? I’m afraid I must remain skeptical.

dpm dpm 9:07 pm 06 Jun 13

I wonder if the nature park land they are protecting from ‘overgrazing’ (to ensure there is food for other critters?) will be the same places they back burn later in the year before fire season?? hahaha!
Thank god for us humans. You have to wonder how any ecosystems survived before we came along to twiddle the knobs and levers…! How did any creature survive in Aus before we got here to fix things for them? 🙂

Anna Key Anna Key 8:56 pm 06 Jun 13

I’m just glad Shane is out to protect Button Wrinklewort. (no idea what it is but has a great name!)

Gingera Gingera 8:24 pm 06 Jun 13

Masquara said :

Shane Rattenbury’s motivation is nothing more, nothing less, than allowing more unpleasant, eco-vandalistic suburban development. While supposedly espousing that high-rise is desirable on ecological grounds, his behaviour is the polar opposite. If he actually behaved like a Green, he’d be keeping the ecosystem from being encroached by housing. He is hopelessly, utterly compromised.

Yeah right………………………………..I’m sure thats the reason
All sites that they’ve listed for culling this year and previous years are nature reserves

So where are they exactly culling kangaroos that is slated for ‘eco-vandalsitic’ suburban development, you going to make a claim like that you got to back it up.

enlighten us please

Masquara Masquara 7:40 pm 06 Jun 13

Shane Rattenbury’s motivation is nothing more, nothing less, than allowing more unpleasant, eco-vandalistic suburban development. While supposedly espousing that high-rise is desirable on ecological grounds, his behaviour is the polar opposite. If he actually behaved like a Green, he’d be keeping the ecosystem from being encroached by housing. He is hopelessly, utterly compromised.

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