MEDIA RELEASE - 25 January 2018
Call for Eastern Grey kangaroo shoot to be cancelled, replace with translocation
Greens animal welfare spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon has called on Bush Heritage to cancel their plans to shoot 500 Eastern Grey kangaroos on one of their restoration properties outside Canberra and prioritise dealing with the recognised threats and threatening processes to the threatened species on the property.
“Kangaroos are not recognised as a threat or a threatening process to any of the threatened species mentioned as the reason for shooting. The mention of Rosenberg’s Goanna as threatened by kangaroos is especially puzzling,” Senator Rhiannon said.
“I urge Bush Heritage to revisit the relevant Threatened Species management plans and identified threats for the relevant threatened species and Endangered Ecological Communities.
“Mobs of kangaroos are not uncommon in the area that Bush Heritage is working to restore. Early records commonly describe mobs of 200-300 kangaroos[i], and Eastern Grey Kangaroos are part of the Grassy-box woodlands ecosystem that dominates in this region.
“I also encourage Bush Heritage to read a recently released 2014 CSIRO report specifically examining relationships between kangaroo density and vegetation condition in the ACT, which found very little relationship between kangaroo density and plant species richness, diversity or vegetation structure.[ii]
“I acknowledge that Bush Heritage has an important job in restoring the unique habitat at Scottsdale but they would be unwise to become involved in shooting kangaroos relying on assertions that CSIRO has found not supported by the data.
“Last year the Senate congratulated Bathurst Regional Council and the local community for leading the way in creating an innovative and non-lethal solution to wildlife conflict management by successfully translocating a mob of kangaroos as a major wildlife rescue effort.
“This recent experience where kangaroos were successfully relocated from the Mount Panorama racing track provides a non-lethal model that should encourage Bush Heritage to understand that there is an alternative to their shooting plan.
“Revisiting the data and finding a non-lethal solution is also vital in light of the international release of the movie ‘Kangaroos: a love hate story’ which is alerting the world to the mass slaughter of macropod species in Australia.
“This movie is having a huge impact in north America where the Los Angeles Times described the killing of kangaroos as ‘an alarming animal-welfare crisis’. The New York Times stated ‘This film isn’t always pretty, but its message is necessary.’
“Kangaroo shooting is the largest slaughter of terrestrial wildlife anywhere in the world.
“The kangaroo industry continues to shoot kangaroos beyond their low reproductive capacity and it would be disappointing if Bush Heritage contributed to this,” Senator Rhiannon said.
[i] First summarised in Auty,J Red Plague Grey Plague: Kangaroo myths and legends, Australian Mammalogy 26: 33-36, 2004
[ii] Vivian LM & Godfree RC (2014) Relationships between vegetation condition and kangaroo density in lowland grassy ecosystems of the northern Australian Capital Territory: analysis of data 2009, 2010 and 2013. CSIRO, Australia.