Kangaroo numbers frustrate producers

Kangaroo numbers frustrate producers


News
HOPPING MAD: Rising numbers of kangaroos have placed significant grazing pressure on properties, eating pasture sheep and cattle would otherwise consume.

HOPPING MAD: Rising numbers of kangaroos have placed significant grazing pressure on properties, eating pasture sheep and cattle would otherwise consume.

Aa

A rise in kangaroo populations has had a major impact on producers and the environment in SA's northern agricultural regions, placing significant grazing pressure on properties.

Aa

THE management of kangaroo populations, the condition of the dog fence and drought were key issues raised at the Livestock SA Northern Region meeting, held at Olary in conjunction with the Pastoral Board of SA in late October.

Kangaroo numbers have increased significantly, up from an estimated 2.5 million in 2011 to about 4.5m in last year’s count.

Dry conditions in northern areas of the state have also meant a shift in populations as kangaroos venture further south in search of feed.

The rise in populations has had a major impact on producers and the environment, placing significant grazing pressure on properties by eating pasture sheep and cattle would otherwise consume. Many of these areas already have limited feed.

Kangaroos also cause damage to infrastructure such as fences and have an impact on water resources.

The rise in kangaroo numbers has not been an overnight occurrence.

There is also evidence from the insurance industry that rising kangaroo numbers are a road safety issue, with a rise in single car collisions.

In 2017-18 SA motorists lodged more than 1700 animal collision claims, double the amount of the previous financial year. About 60 per cent of these collisions were attributed to kangaroos.

The rise in kangaroo numbers has not been an overnight occurrence.

We share the frustrations raised at the recent Olary Northern Region meeting and the roundtable meeting held on the issue at Yunta 12 months ago. 

Related reading: Kangaroos compound drought pressure

The state government has acknowledged this rise in kangaroo numbers but to-date nothing has changed.

Only certain areas within the state are open for commercial harvesting, but we believe these areas need to be increased to ensure harvesting can occur in all areas where kangaroo populations have increased significantly.

We want to see a review of the conditions for kangaroo harvesting to reduce the cost barrier for harvesters, ensuring there is more of an incentive for them to continue to undertake control methods.

We would also like to further identify ways in which the commercial harvest of kangaroos and culls can happen in conjunction in the same area. We also believe there needs to be more recognition of the value of kangaroo products, meat, kangaroo skin and leather.

Related reading:Caution urged for kangaroo control

Finally, finding the time to download, fill out and apply to get a destruction permit for kangaroos can be a challenge for some producers.

We are looking forward to working together with the state government on improved permits for the control of kangaroos, so it benefits not only producers but also the environment.

Aa

From the front page

Sponsored by