Watch out Skippy, here comes the cull

johnboy 18 June 2010 21

kangaroos[Photo courtesy of the ACT Kangaroo Management Plan]

The Department of Territory and Municipal Services has added to their website a Q&A on kangaroo culling.

Halfway down the page is the announcement that from this Saturday 19 June to 31 July those shooters who have passed “a recent accuracy test administered by the Australian Federal Police, as well as pass a challenging macropod identification test” will be loose in the Canberra Nature Park.

Apparently 1890 is the magic number of roos to go.

Someone somewhere is digging a big hole to put them in.


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21 Responses to Watch out Skippy, here comes the cull
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fgzk fgzk 5:18 pm 19 Jun 10

Justin heywood…. Stanhope said the same thing during the Googong Cull. “Easily shown” took six months to prove. Ludicrous lies repeated enough by politicians seem to be forgotten in six months. I doubt much has changed.

CT 2004 http://www.canberratimes.com.au/news/local/news/general/roo-cull-worried-scientists-foi-file/300368.aspx

” a senior ecologist thought the cull was not science-based, kangaroo numbers at the reserve (Googong) had crashed by 65 per cent and that the operation was initiated by a park ranger.”

“A Government spokesman said the Chief Minister was ” well aware” the population had dropped by 65 per cent. “

What the government is doing now is a ludicrous waste and dodgy. Not much has changed.

justin heywood justin heywood 2:54 pm 19 Jun 10

Greg Tarlinton said :

Unfortunately you cannot trust the science behind this latest ACT government killing spree…..

and then

….Personally I think that the regular killing of kangaroos is mainly as an experiment by an ACT government employed ecologist to “see what happens” to the kangaroo populations when you kill a lot of them. It also gives the ACT government’s pet scientist a lot of bodies to carve up and experiment with.

I don’t think you do your argument any favours with ludicrous allegations. If you think the science is dodgy, fine. It should be easily shown to be so, and you won’t need an overwrought and overlong post to make your point.

Greg Tarlinton Greg Tarlinton 1:57 pm 19 Jun 10

Unfortunately you cannot trust the science behind this latest ACT government killing spree. What the ACT government is again doing is assigning blame to a scapegoat (or scape-kangaroo) for their past poor management of the last remnants of native habitat left in the ACT.

While the government has shooters currently out there killing kangaroos supposedly to save these fragmented grassland “museums”, they are developing the areas where it is possible to do so. It is interesting to notice that the best quality native temperate grassland and box woody grassland left within the ACT is on federal land where the ACT government cannot sell it off or develop it into a new suburb or commercial estate.

The block of land that was swapped with a developer for the caravan park at Narrabundah is listed as high value habitat for the grassland earless dragon. The endangered dragons do live on the site but this didn’t stop the development application that was posted on the site last year for water and sewerage works. Thousands of kangaroos were killed last year at the Majura Training area supposedly to save this same animals habitat.

Just down Majura Road, the airport runway extension was built over high value native temperate grassland and a feeble attempt was made to catch and relocate some dragons from their burrows before the bulldozers moved in.

The new road planned to run around the back of the airport and a planned freight hub will further fragment one of the highest value pieces of native temperate grassland in the ACT but it seems that is OK because there is money to be made.

The former BNTS site where over 500 kangaroos were killed to save the grassland subsequently had areas or this fragile grassland completely dug out to remove lead and other toxic chemicals. The original site of around 115 hectares has now been shrunk down by around one quarter to allow for a housing development which will be built to within metres of the remaining grassland. If the ACT government was really interested in preserving these remnant areas, why wouldn’t they rehabilitate the entire site to preserve its environmental heritage?

During the process of killing the kangaroos at BNTS, contactors and ACT government employees drove all over the area chasing kangaroos into the killing pen leaving a dust-bowl when they were finished. I drove through there a few years back and we were not allowed to drive off any of the formed roads because of the risk of damaging the grassland.

Stalag Stanhope is built on or directly adjoining the nature reserve at Symonston and there is a new development being built just down the road.

It is plainly obvious that the ACT government is scratching for environmental credibility when you see one tiny area along the side of a driveway in Mitchell listed as an important conservation site.

Personally I think that the regular killing of kangaroos is mainly as an experiment by an ACT government employed ecologist to “see what happens” to the kangaroo populations when you kill a lot of them. It also gives the ACT government’s pet scientist a lot of bodies to carve up and experiment with.

The heads from the kangaroos killed at BNTS were removed and buried in a separate pit where they will be later dug up and measured as part of an experiment to work out the age of kangaroos from their skull measurements. The same scientist doing this was looking forward to the next big kill to gather more data.

There is a lot more to this than what is presented in the TAMS press release. The new ACT kangaroo management plan has pretty much guaranteed that any time a kangaroo is seen by someone as a problem it will be killed. Now that this document is policy it rules out any other options apart from killing kangaroos and burying them, it is ACT government policy to do it this way. Kangaroos have to be killed and their dependent joeys clubbed to death then buried.

It would be interesting to see just how much time and money the ACT government has spent to stop the export of orphaned joeys to wildlife carers in NSW.

I don’t consider myself a tree hugger or the like, I regularly have to shoot sometimes hundreds of badly injured kangaroos a year. What I don’t like is the way that the ACT government justifies what they are doing. When there is little food around they kill them because they may starve, when there is a lot of food they kill them because they might breed too well, there really is no situation where they don’t find justification for a shoot-fest.

It is quite easily seen from the pretty brochures and web pages that the only time the ACT government is interested in the welfare of any species is when it reached a point where it is threatened with extinction and they can be seen to be trying to do something to stop this happening. It makes a good paper for the scientists to write, they can do a little hand wringing and cart one of these endangered species around in a jar to justify their employment. One thing you will never see is the ACT government make public photos of what they are doing to the region’s kangaroos in the process.

Sadly, the only oversight over what the ACT government is doing here is by a body set up by the ACT government with the former head of Environment ACT at the helm. This is the same person who ordered the killing of 800 kangaroos at Googong nature reserve in 2004 even after the population had dropped naturally by 65%. They also specifically targeted female kangaroos to “see what would happen”.

While obviously kangaroos are killed Australia-wide, the ACT is different in that they always offer up this pseudo-science as justification for what they are doing. Very little of the supposed “robust science” that this killing is based on is available except under FOI. If it was so robust and peer reviewed you would think the ACT government would be happy to provide it.

ex-vectis ex-vectis 12:16 pm 19 Jun 10

Coonan, I soooo have to disagree about the taste! Roo meat tastes fantastic if you cook it right. To kill 1890 Kangaroos and not use them for anything is asking for trouble from the Animal Rights brigade.

It continues to baffle me as to why Roomeat isn’t not consumed more. Whenever I’ve had a dinner party where I’ve used roo meat the reaction has been ‘wow, never realised it tasted that good!’. Doesnt make good barby steaks (no enough fat in it); but in anything where low-fat (IE. dries easily) meat is needed it is just divine.

Have to admit to even using road-kill (fresh obviously! and properly cooked…!) twice now.

fgzk fgzk 9:28 am 19 Jun 10

Should we run with an international media campaign damning the ACT government. It would also hold a little federal damning as its Canberra. I think it would be well received in Japan. I’m sure with the whale issue they might seize on it as an example of hypocrisy that we are willing to quickly kill and bury our national symbol etc. The Italians have never really liked the Kangaroo killing thing. It a pretty easy thing to do. It would mean labelling Canberran’s as Roo murderers though.

I would be interested to know from the Government how many roo counts took place? How many staff where involved in the counts? The budget allocated for the counts? What areas where counted? Where is the raw data? Why cant we see the raw data?

Also I think digging a big hole is lazy. Either your implying that the roo is worthless or that you just want to quickly dispose of the evidence. (Note get photos with blood soaked roo shooters throwing roos in large pit, for Japanese news story. Might be worth inviting some Japanese activist to Canberra. Place them in the firing line. See how good the Macropod identification works.)

cleo cleo 5:09 am 19 Jun 10

54-11 + 1

54-11 54-11 3:36 pm 18 Jun 10

With a proper strategic approach, there would easily be enough roos in the Territory to sustain a proper industry that can supply all these animals to restaurants or for other uses. The skins, meat and by-products all have far more value than the cost of just burying them.

Stanhope, put it out to tender (allow for say 5,000 per annum across all public land) and see what the return is.

Makes absolute sense, whether you’re a greenie or not. Otherwise it is just expensive waste to be disposed of.

James-T-Kirk James-T-Kirk 2:49 pm 18 Jun 10

damien haas said :

Are we really serious about a bush capital, or are all ’empty’ spaces seen as potential house blocks ?

Its a discussion we need to have.

We have a capital in the ‘bush’ style – just as long as the space can pay for itself it is welcome!

ConanOfCooma ConanOfCooma 1:56 pm 18 Jun 10

Good riddance. They are in plague proportions, stupid beyond reasoning, and despite the fact that they look good, they taste like shit.

We are talking about the pollies, yeah?

damien haas damien haas 1:37 pm 18 Jun 10

I was driving past Crace and noticed a large mob of roos cavorting among the surveyors pegs and just begun new roads and house blocks.

Are we really serious about a bush capital, or are all ’empty’ spaces seen as potential house blocks ?

Its a discussion we need to have.

fgzk fgzk 1:32 pm 18 Jun 10

Between 60 and 80tons of rotting carcasses. That’s a big hole full of blood and bone.

p1 p1 12:33 pm 18 Jun 10

johnboy said :

Well, once we start doing that why have an ACT PS at all?

Think strategically!

Well, I’d hate to put the ACT pollies out of a job. On the other hand, have you seen the monkeys that run NSW?

johnboy johnboy 11:27 am 18 Jun 10

p1 said :

Because there is no way the ACT could possibly entertain the idea of borrowing the arrangements in place in NSW for the regulation of a commercial ‘roo shoot? Considering the relatively low number of kangaroos being culled, I would have thought something could be arranged.

Well, once we start doing that why have an ACT PS at all?

Think strategically!

gospeedygo gospeedygo 11:17 am 18 Jun 10

Its what they didn’t show in that new tourism ad.

luther_bendross luther_bendross 11:15 am 18 Jun 10

All your rotting carcasses are belong to us.

p1 p1 11:11 am 18 Jun 10

johnboy said :

Given the relatively low number of kangaroos being culled, and the high costs of establishing, administering and monitoring a commercial operation, it would not be cost-effective for the ACT Government to enter the commercial industry.

Because there is no way the ACT could possibly entertain the idea of borrowing the arrangements in place in NSW for the regulation of a commercial ‘roo shoot? Considering the relatively low number of kangaroos being culled, I would have thought something could be arranged.

fgzk fgzk 11:00 am 18 Jun 10

To manage a resource effort needs to be put into understanding the resource. I think you may find that the research into Kangaroo numbers and their control are based on very basic information. The Government has lied about its methodology before. It is worth questioning how they produced their numbers. Where is the science. Can you trust it.

S4anta S4anta 10:52 am 18 Jun 10

I want to meet a hunter who fails the macropod identification test.

johnboy johnboy 10:48 am 18 Jun 10

From the qanda:

What will happen to the carcasses?
The kangaroo carcasses will be buried. As with Tasmania, Victoria and the Northern Territory, there are no commercial kangaroo harvesting arrangements in the ACT. Given the relatively low number of kangaroos being culled, and the high costs of establishing, administering and monitoring a commercial operation, it would not be cost-effective for the ACT Government to enter the commercial industry.

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