Roos in CrossHair – shooting zones being depleted
‘ROOS IN CROSSHAIR’ written by Helen Bergen
Politicians and public servants shouldn’t be allowed to make decisions about things they know nothing about.
Kangaroos are actually in trouble in the commercial shooting states, with the published “estimates” hyper-inflated extrapolations of counted kangaroos in remnant habitat (native cover) over landscapes where government survey raw counts are zero. For example in the western NSW shooting zones Grey kangaroos had declined from 46% absence to 69% absence, and Reds declined from 49 to 56% absence. This is recorded by the NSW Government’s own actual survey count data received under Freedom of Information applications. The “estimates” (not the counts) bear no resemblance whatsoever to what is happening on the ground.
The reason the industry has worked so hard to open up Victoria is because they are running out of kangaroos in the older commercial shooting zones – with zones in each of the commercial shooting states closed down to shooting regularly because not enough kangaroos have been counted.
The fact that the “take” (numbers of shot kangaroos) is less than 20% – 15% at the most, often less than 10% – of the quota in all existing shooting zones should wave a very red flag and invite more critical examination than anyone bothers to apply generally. This is because the quotas are impossible – being hyper-inflated targets for shooting extracted from the hyper-inflated “estimates”.
Victoria originally banned commercial shooting of kangaroos back in the late ’70s/’early 80s because it was recognised that these slow-growing, low-reproducing animals were being shot beyond their reproductive capacity and were in serious trouble. The Australian government then even banned the export of shot kangaroos, and the US government listed them as threatened with the Australian government’s support. Ironically this just made the industry get highly organised and strategised.
It has taken decades for the industry to finally access shooting this native wildlife in Victoria.
Australians really need to learn about our iconic species – I think Darwin was correct in the 1830s when he forecast that the kangaroos’ doom was surely fixed after noting their disappearance from the settlements, the destruction of their habitat (85% of Australia’s open woodland EGK habitat has been cleared) and the devastating effect of men on horses with guns and the English kangaroo hunting dogs – which were efficient kangaroo killers compared to dingoes that like wolves, were not indiscriminate killers of all kangaroos.
What is the story with Australians’ attitudes to kangaroos?
There’s a very strange uneducated disregard by all sectors of the community about kangaroos. I believe that with the opening up of Victoria to commercial shooting, and the juggernaut that is the KIAA/Australian government effort in growing markets – especially in Asia – that my children will see the complete collapse of wild kangaroo populations. And no-one is even noticing it’s happening – with undeserved belief that the survey and extrapolation methodologies to arrive at the kangaroo population ‘estimates’ stand up to scientific scrutiny. They don’t.
Learn something: www.kangaroosatrisk.net