Kangaroos are arguably the most persecuted species of wildlife in Australia
Kangaroos are persecuted because of two factors. They are easily seen, constantly terrestrial. This means they have nowhere to hide, being always visible. This makes them targets for all manner of shooter or archer. Apart from that, they are too trusting. This in a world that has people with high powered rifles, and kangaroos without understanding of the modern human psyche.
Kangaroos still don't realise or understand that the animals with which they previously shared their food and country, four and two legged, were creatures as tolerant as themselves. That this new, white, two legged animal killed and continued to kill, was never sated of death and had no qualms about slaughtering much more than they needed. The aboriginal people took one or two kangaroos as often as required for their needs and went away to leave the mob get on with survival. It was the dance of life, some died to ensure that others lived. This is the way of the natural world upon which we rely and in fact need, to survive.
In this society there are chances for landholders to indicate, rightly or wrongly, that wildlife are impacting on the land they own and by implication on their use of it and livelihood, and should therefore be culled or completely eradicated. This is the general gist. However, some landholders just find an animal that is not of their choosing, no matter that it has a natural right to use the land and what grows on it, is just a nuisance and contrives an excuse to give the government reason to allow them to kill these.
This is mainly, but not solely the case with kangaroos. Kangaroos are visible grazers as well as occasional browsers where their nutritional needs are not met from the graze in the area they usually frequent. So they travel to an area where there might be a few plants that would supply their trace element requirements. They stand out on the paddock, and as the Japanese saying goes: “the nail that sticks up is hammered down.” That's our society with regard to wildlife, or anything else it doesn't understand and care to discover it's place in the whole.
Looking at this at face value, and that's all that the DELWP and it's agents do, it appears a reasonable request. However, handing out ATCW's [kill cull permits] it's not means tested in any way. To see if the kangaroos really are doing damage, or eating the nutrient that domestic, husbanded stock would eat. This is now further complicated by the cull permit holder being paid money for the carcases of kangaroos.
The employees of the DELWP who inspect a ATCW permit request property are supposed to be trained in assessing the impact of the kangaroos on the pasture and the damage actually done to fences of a property and any other iniquities that are contrived, or taken out of context. They have no idea if the husbanded livestock ate the pasture or the kangaroos they see consumed the grass. Kill cull permits are issued because the kangaroos can be seen on the pasture, and not from video evidence which would show, what little time they have been on the pasture or if they were even grazing at all.
More information about kangaroos:
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Reasons to Doubt
Current Thinking and Actions
Gordon Grigg of Department of Zoology & Entomology, The University of Queensland 4072
Gordon Grigg asserts the 0.7 DSE (dry sheep equivalent) as used for the quantity of pasture they consume, since there was a need to attempt to justify killing kangaroos that moved back onto land that from which they were dispossessed by white settlers, is incorrect. This figure was derived to pin on marsupials from an equation of the resting metabolic rate of 70% of eutherians for marsupials.
Grigg asserts there are two contentious factors:
The first is that the comparison applies. to (resting) animals at comparable body weight. However, the “average” kangaroo in a population is much lighter than the “average” sheep. Taking body weight into account, the DSE should be about 0.4. But applying this, derived from measurements of resting metabolic rate, to the populations as a whole, assumes that the “field” metabolic rate (FMR), also, of marsupials is 70% that of eutherians. Two quite independent (and long published) studies measuring FMR in marsupials and eutherians, however, challenge such an assumption very strongly and, if validated by further work, suggest that the real DSE for kangaroos is likely to be as little as 0.15-0.2.
This would mean that kangaroos are a much smaller component of the “total grazing pressure” than is generally accepted. Such result is in strong contrast with a recent modelling study which claimed that a kangaroo harvest of about 10% could lead to a 25% increase in wool production. Even a DSE of 0.4 instead of 0.7 raises a significant question about the assumption that major benefits flow to wool producers from reducing kangaroo numbers. If values closer to 0.15-O.2 are substantiated by further research, the hope of getting a significant improvement in wool production by pest control of kangaroos is probably doomed to failure.
Farmers and graziers have already realised if they cull the kangaroos from their property they don't actually get more wool production or a higher stocking rate on a paddock. Most farmers are not killing kangaroos to increase production, but because they are caught in the erroneous thought vortex of their ancestors who killed kangaroos because they didn't want them on their property. Though even more of the early settlers [there were few farmers amongst the early settler population, who were mainly convicts] killed kangaroos to eat while they spared and nurtured their domesticated animals so they increased in number.
Another factor is that kangaroos usually consume plants the domestic, husbanded flock animals other than possibly goats, do not eat.
It has also not been tested if their bite is as wide as that of a sheep? If not then they are consuming less pasture than any domesticated animal.
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The Kangaroo Pet Meat Iniquiry
The kangaroo culls which have been going on for decades, without anyone looking for a method to release the surplus animals from the enclosed areas where they are either being a perceived nuisance or eating themselves into a starvation future are becoming common place and accepted by repetition. This is one of the great dangers that has always affected our society. When action is taken that does no longer raise any questions because we are “used to it”.
This new reason for killing wildlife has been highlighted and accepted by Minister Lisa Neville, who has departed that portfolio and gone elsewhere.
Here are some thoughts on the matter:
Kangaroo Cull Justification Or Not
Kangaroo Numbers At What Point
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