Decimation of an
Report written and compiled in October 2008 by:
Australian Society for Kangaroos
PO Box 524 Castlemaine Vic 3450
following report exposes our kangaroos in crisis and on the brink of
extinction, right across New South Wales, Queensland and South
Australia, decimated by a trade in leather and meat, and condoned by
federal and state governments. This report also unveils decades of
propaganda and myth used to justify a cruel and unsustainable industry;
the world’s largest wildlife massacre; the commercial kangaroo
Photo by Stella Reid
The following statistics are taken from
Queensland, NSW and South Australian government data, recording
kangaroo populations since the 1970s.
Kangaroos on the Brink
are commercially hunted across New South Wales, Queensland, South
Australia and Western Australia. They are sold as pet food and leather.
Their skins are sold to international shoe companies such as Adidas,
Nike, Reebok, Puma, Florsheim and various other European and American
shoe manufacturers. The Federal Government is responsible for
monitoring the industry in the commercial hunting states, and is bound
by the Environmental Protection Biodiversity and Conservation Act 1999
to ensure the protection of biodiversity and native species. Tragically
however, the federal and state governments have failed to protect
kangaroos, with government data exposing a commercial trade in leather
and meat, combined with severe drought, driving kangaroos to the brink
of extinction across most of New South Wales, Queensland and South
Australia. Red Kangaroos, Western and Eastern Grey Kangaroos,
Wallaroos and Euros have been hunted to critical levels of less than
five kangaroos per square kilometre, densities defined by the Murray
Darling Report as ‘quasi extinction’ and meaning:
‘The nominal value of kangaroo densities taken to indicate the effective loss of the species’ (1).
Murray Darling Report is a scientific report published by the Murray
Darling Commission and written by government and independent
scientists. It gives clear warnings regarding the risks of hunting
kangaroos at population densities below five kangaroos per sq/km:
that produce average densities of less than 5 kangaroos per square
kilometre would result in minimum densities of less than 2 kangaroos
per square kilometre, and could be considered a threat to species
As stated earlier, all commercially
hunted kangaroo species are now ‘quasi extinct’ across most of New
South Wales, Queensland and South Australia, and as predicted by the
Murray Darling Report kangaroo numbers have crashed even further, to
less than two per square kilometre across half of these states:
minimum densities are not clearly defined but populations below 2
kangaroos per square kilometre would generally be considered at risk of
Commercial Hunting zones cover most of South Australia. There are
almost no areas in South Australia where kangaroos are fully protected.
Three kangaroo species are commercially hunted for their meat and
skin in South Australia: Red Kangaroos, Western Grey Kangaroos and
Population counts for 2007 show Red and Western Grey
Kangaroo populations at their lowest level ever recorded in South
Across most of South Australia all three commercially hunted species are ‘quasi extinct’.
these critical levels, the South Australian government has set a quota
of 12-20% of the remaining population to be killed every year by the
SA Red Kangaroo
Red Kangaroos are at their lowest level ever recorded in South Australia.
Red Kangaroos are quasi extinct across 92% of South Australia, and at less than 2 sq/km across 50% of the state.
Since 1998, across 42% of South Australia, up to 80% of Red Kangaroos have been lost.
Despite Red Kangaroos being at their lowest level ever, the kangaroo industry will slaughter 192,000 in 2008 alone.
Kangaroo populations only increase at a rate of 6-8% per year,
therefore they are being killed at a rate three times faster than they
can breed. (4)
The commercial quota is the percentage
of the population killed by the commercial kangaroo industry every
year. For 2008, this stands at 3.6 million kangaroos. This quota
does not include pouch joeys killed by the shooter, ex pouch joeys
orphaned and left to die, kangaroos killed privately by farmers,
kangaroos killed by local governments in National Parks and State
forests, kangaroos killed illegally, kangaroos killed on the road or
those that perish in drought, flood and bush fires, or when their
habitat is destroyed by development The total annual toll on kangaroos
is probably in excess of double the commercial quota.
SA Western Grey
Western Grey Kangaroos are at their lowest level ever recorded in South Australia.
Grey kangaroos are ‘quasi extinct’ across 80% of South Australia, and
less than 2 per sq/km across 60% of South Australia.
Since 1997 numbers of Western Grey Kangaroo numbers have crashed by 72-80% across 42% of the state.
kangaroo industry will kill 76,000 Western Grey Kangaroos in South
Australia in 2008, despite being at their lowest level ever recorded.
are ‘quasi extinct’ across most of South Australia, and are at
densities of less than 2 per sq/km across 63% of the state.
Despite this, the kangaroo industry wil kill 59,000 Euros in South Australia in 2008 alone.
half of South Australia, fifty percent of the kangaroos killed by the
commercial industry are female. Killing fifty percent of females from a
wild population puts a species at great risk of extinction.
average weight of kangaroos killed by the commercial industry in South
Australia is just 22kg. These kangaroos are therefore only 18 –36
months old and barely of breeding age. Kangaroos can weigh up to 90kg
and live for 25 years.
‘Research shows that the average age of Red Kangaroos is now only 2
evidence to support the theory that the big kangaroos have been wiped
out by the industry for their larger skins, and with few kangaroos
left, the industry is forced to kill more females, and smaller and
younger kangaroos, which are the breeding stock for the future; a
certain recipe for extinction.
The ongoing killing of the large
males also creates a genetic disaster, weakening their genetic and
physiological strength and leaving them unable to cope with drought and
disease. This combined with the loss of critical mass that we are
witnessing now, has the potential to wipe out the species.
the alpha males from a mob also destroys social order, leaving females
at the whim of younger and immature males and a mob with no structure
or hierarchy. This is a dangerous and potentially fatal situation for
the doe (female) and any joey she may have in her pouch or at foot. It
can lead to the death of the doe and her joeys from stress myopathy or
exhaustion as she desperately tries to escape the forceful advances of
the young males. The larger dominant males also play a role in
integrating with the young joeys, playing with them from a very young
age, and teaching them all the important survival techniques.’(33)
the above data regarding South Australia’s kangaroo populations and
‘harvest’ statistics were obtained this year (2008) from Dana Thomson,
Ecologist-Kangaroo Management, South Australian Department of
Environment and Heritage (6).
The commercial kangaroo industry has access to 94% of the state, leaving only 6% of Queensland protected for kangaroos.
Red Kangaroos, Eastern Grey Kangaroos and Wallaroos are killed at a
rate of 10-20% of the population each year by the commercial kangaroo
Qld Red Kangaroo
Red Kangaroos are quasi extinct
(<5 sq/km) across 70% of Queensland, and at densities of less than
1.6 sq/km across 40% of the state.
Despite these critically
low levels, the Queensland government has allowed the kangaroo industry
to kill 608,408 of the remaining Red Kangaroos in Queensland in 2008
Eastern Grey Kangaroo
Since 2001 numbers of
Eastern Grey Kangaroo populations have crashed by 45% in some areas and
up to 90% in others across 62% of the state.
Eastern Grey Kangaroos are ‘quasi extinct’ across 36% of Queensland.
The kangaroo industry will kill 1,013,203 of the remaining Eastern Grey Kangaroos in Queensland in 2008.
Wallaroos are ‘quasi extinct’ across 86% of Queensland, and at densities of less than 2 sq/km across 52% of the state.
Numbers of Wallaroos in Queensland have crashed by up to 99% in some areas.
Despite these figures, the commercial industry will kill to 328,060 of the remaining Wallaroos in Queensland in 2008 alone.
in South Australia, the average weight of kangaroos killed by the
kangaroo industry in Queensland is just 20kg. These kangaroos are
barely of breeding age.
All Queensland data relating to
population densities were obtained from the Queensland Environment
Protection Agency, Macropod Management Unit (7).
NEW SOUTH WALES
Commercial Kangaroo Management Zone covers 85% of NSW, leaving just 15%
of the state as protected habitat for kangaroos under the National
Parks and Wildlife Act Pt 4.
NSW Red Kangaroos
Red Kangaroos are at densities of less than 3.3 sq/km across 68% of their range in NSW.
Red Kangaroos are at their lowest level ever recorded across 40% of their range in NSW.
Red Kangaroos numbers have been decimated by 50% across 85% NSW.
The commercial industry will slaughter 429,156 of the remaining Red kangaroos in NSW in 2008 for export as leather and meat.
NSW Grey Kangaroos
Grey Kangaroos are at their lowest level ever recorded across 27% of the commercial killing zones.
Grey Kangaroos are at densities of less than five per square km across 36% of the commercial killing zones.
Grey Kangaroos have been decimated by 50% across 85% NSW.
The kangaroo industry will slaughter 600,00 of the remaining Grey Kangaroos in 2008.
Wallaroos have been decimated by 63% and are ‘quasi extinct’ at less than 3 sq/km across the entire killing zone.
Wallaroos are at their lowest level ever recorded in NSW.
this catastrophic situation, the NSW government has set the quotas for
Wallaroos at their highest level ever, allowing the commercial industry
to slaughter 17,245 of the remaining Wallaroo population in 2008.
All data above were taken from the NSW Kangaroo Management Program-Quota Report
for 2008, NSW Department of Environment and Conservation (8).
FOLLOWING INFORMATION EXPOSES CENTURIES OF PROPOGANDA AND MYTH THAT HAS
FALSELY JUSTIFIED THE WORLD’S LARGEST WILDLIFE SLAUGHTER, AND SENT AN
AUSTRALIAN ICON TO THE BRINK OF EXTINCTION.
Photo by Stella Reid
For decades the Australian
government has assured the public that the commercial slaughter of our
national icon is necessary to control kangaroo numbers, to protect
farmers, is economically and environmentally sustainable, and poses no
threat to kangaroo conservation. The information and scientific reports
discussed here expose a commercial trade in kangaroos that is not only
unnecessary and unsustainable, but is in breach of the Environmental
Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
Murray Darling Report, titled ‘Kangaroo Options in the Murray Darling
Basin’ was written in 2004 by Ron Hacker, Steven McLeod, John Duncan,
Brigitte Tenhumberg and Udai Prahan. It clearly states that:
over most of the region ceases to be economically viable at densities
considerably higher than those commonly regarded as minimum levels for
conservation (5 k km2)’ (9).
‘Reduction of kangaroo densities to
less than 5 kangaroos per square kilometer over large areas would
result in the demise of the kangaroo industry’
‘Pastoralists’ would need to accept that reduction of
kangaroos to very low densities (<5 k km2) over large areas is
neither commercially feasible, ecologically defensible or economically
So the Australian government is not only
allowing a commercial wildlife trade to slaughter kangaroos in areas
where they are at risk of extinction, but is supporting an industry
that is unsustainable, killing juveniles, and destroying kangaroos at a
rate faster than they can breed.
A literature review prepared for
the Kangaroo Management Advisory Panel in March 2006, by the School of
Botany and Zoology, Australian National University, ACT titled,
‘Situation Analysis Report, Update on Current State of Scientific
Knowledge on Kangaroos in the Environment, Including Ecological and
Economic Impact and Effect of Culling’ by Penny Olsen and Tim Low,
confirms the findings of the Murray Darling Report in its executive
‘Evidence suggests that commercial harvesting is not
sustainable at densities that threaten any of the harvested species
with extinction’ (11).
‘The Australian State of the Environment Report 2006’ found that:
‘At present there are insufficient data available on actual kangaroo
populations and characteristics to demonstrate that harvesting does not
have a detrimental impact on either the harvested species or their
In evidence given at the New South Wales
Administrative Appeals Tribunal, [Wildlife Protection Association
Australia (Applicants) vs NSW Minister for Environment Heritage and the
Arts (Respondent), No.N535 of 2007], it was found that within the
2008-2012 NSW Kangaroo Management Plan, there are no “trigger levels”
with which to identify when the kangaroo population was at risk.
Therefore the current quotas would continue, despite critical densities
until 2012, when the current Kangaroo Management Plan expired. The
applicants argued that:
‘None of the Actions of the Plan provided
for the suspension or reduction of the commercial killing of kangaroos
if certain threshold situations are reached. There is no specific level
of detriment or harm above which the Plan is suspended or the quotas
‘The EPBC ACT requires the Management Plan include management
controls to ensure that ‘the impacts of the activities’ on each of the
species of kangaroos are ecologically sustainable, and that on the
evidence the Tribunal cannot be satisfied that there are sufficient
management controls included in the Plan that ensure the impacts are
‘Ecological sustainability requires some benefit of the use.
The Plan cannot be shown to produce any conservation or biodiversity
benefit. Killing part of the population is not necessary for the
survival of the rest of the population of the species’(15).
is also important to note what was heard from the Minister for
Environment Heritage and the Arts (respondent) during the hearing:
respondent accepted that a quota of 17% per annum and the addition of
the special quota would be unsustainable in the long- term’ (16).
An equally disturbing report written by Dr Mark Drummond, warns of these predictions:
to the least squares exponential regression equation established using
Eastern Grey kangaroo population estimates, provided by the Australian
Government Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts
for the period 2001 to 2007, the number of Eastern Grey kangaroos in
Australia will reduce from 30 million in 2001 and 10 million in 2007 to
about 5 million in 2010, 2 million in 2015, and less than 1.0 million
in 2020, if the trend observed from 2001 to 2007 continues until
In light of these statistics, the fact that all
four species have already crashed by 50% in some areas and up to 70% in
others between 2001 and 2007 alone, and the large scale quasi
extinctions across three out of the four commercial hunting states,
along with the real and pending threat of further drought, fire, flood,
lack of habitat, water and food across Australia, it is highly likely
that if the commercial and non commercial killing of kangaroos
continues in New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia, there
would be large scale irreversible extinctions, of Red Kangaroos,
Eastern and Western Grey Kangaroos, Wallaroos and Euros across three
states within just a few years.
These statistics also expose
a significant breach of the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity
Conservation Act by the Australian government and the Kangaroo Industry
Association Australia, whereby they have failed to protect kangaroos at
the extent of their range and ensure that the impacts of the industry
are ecologically sustainable. It has also failed in other aspects of
the EPBC Act 1999, by inflicting significant cruelty on pouch joeys and
ex pouch joeys in the matter in which they are dispatched (bashed to
death or decapitated, and/or orphaned and left to die from starvation
stress and exposure), therefore failing to “protect the humane
treatment of wildlife” and by not taking a “precautionary
principle when making decisions relating to the utilization
‘The shot to the head out of the darkness that the industry and its
supporters promote as clean, green and humane; every night leaves
behind abandoned young-at-foot quietly coughing in an attempt to unite
with their mothers-but nobody hears’ (35)
Photo by Ray Drew
Scientific evidence now available exposes a large-scale slaughter of
protected native animals, the world’s largest wildlife massacre, based
on propaganda and myth, promoted by a cruel and unsustainable trade in
a precious Australian icon. Government and independent scientists
such as the CSIRO; Prof. Gordon Grigg, (Environment Australia); Steve
Mc Leod (University NSW, NSW Dept Primary Industries); Dr Tony Pople;
Penny Olsen and Tim Low (School of Botany and Zoology, Australian
National University, Canberra ACT); Dr David Croft (University NSW);
and Ingrid Witte (NSW Dept Environment and Climate Change, UNSW), now
agree that based on the evidence, kangaroos exert negligible impact on
pastoral and agriculture production, hence undermining the
justification for this large scale destruction of unique native
Ms Nicole Payne, Manager of the Kangaroo Management Program, NSW
Department Environment and Conservation, admitted at the Administrative
Appeals Tribunal that the commercial slaughter of kangaroos is:
‘Not designed to achieve population control or damage mitigation, but for commercial harvesting’ (18).
Payne also agreed with Olsen and Low (2006) in their Literature Review
‘Update on Current State of Scientific Knowledge on Kangaroos in the
Environment, Including Ecological Impact and Economic Impact and Effect
of Culling’ that:
‘Damage mitigation as grounds for harvesting is unfounded’
provide some benefits to biodiversity and save for
exceptional circumstances, are not competitors with
sheep or cattle’ (19).
Pople and McLeod (2000, UNSW) are also
referred to in the court proceedings, as well as Olsen and Brayshaw
(2000), to support the overriding evidence that between sheep and
‘Competition seldom occurs’ (20).
Within Olsen and Low’s Literature Review, they also confirm these findings:
there is little convincing evidence of substantial damage by kangaroos
to crops, pastoral production or rangelands, except
in a few localized areas’ (21).
Grigg (2002) proposed that kangaroos
had a DSE (dry sheep equivalent) of just 0.2, meaning kangaroos consume
only one fifth as much as sheep. He states:
‘The removal of
kangaroos will not bring expected benefits to woolgrowers in part
because kangaroos are a much smaller component of total grazing
pressure than is generally assumed’ (22).
State of the Environment Report’ supports these studies in its
findings, that in the 60% of Australia that is made up of low intensity
grazing land, kangaroos exert a grazing pressure of just 1-8%, compared
to sheep and cattle which in combination exert a grazing pressure of
Dr David Croft, in his paper, ‘The
Future of Kangaroos: Going Going Gone?’ disputes claims that kangaroos
take advantage of ‘rested’ paddocks and inflict damage:
pressure in the de-stocked paddocks had in effect significantly been
reduced by the removal of 400 sheep. The amount of kangaroo dung never
surpassed that of kangaroos in the stocked paddock, despite the absence
‘Given the sedentary behaviour of mature individuals,
there is no strong evidence that red kangaroos invade areas of improved
pasture within a short period of time and remain there to cause long
term damage’ (24).
In fact, further research from Fowlers Gap
Research Station, (Witte, 2002, UNSW) reported a positive relationship
between the biomass of both total pasture and green pasture and
kangaroo density. Witte states that these findings support the
conclusion that kangaroos and livestock do not compete strongly for
food (at least in the rangelands), that resource availability drives
the grazing systems, and that:
‘Mixed species grazing regimes are more productive and ecologically sound.’(25)
Olsen and Brayshaw (2003) agree:
do not appear to impact greatly on wool production and mixed grazing
systems (cattle and kangaroos/sheep and kangaroos) tend to be most
The CSIRO conducted extensive research on the competition between kangaroos and sheep and found that:
‘The authors conclude that competition between sheep and kangaroos is small’ (26.)
written by ecologist Dan Ramp (University NSW) such as his paper
“Our ‘common’ wildlife may be the next ‘sleeping’ threatened species”,
describes the importance of kangaroos in protecting threatened and
endangered species from decline:
‘Native herbivores such as
kangaroos and wombats, play a vital role in ecosystem functioning but
are often victimized and treated with lack of concern because of
socio-political factors and historical value judgements rather than
heeding biological and ecological information.’ (28).
He also refers to the findings of Smith and Knapp (2003):
is widely recognised that species and ecosystem function are strongly
linked. Common species can play key roles in conferring short-term
resistance to reductions in ecosystem functions, as rare and uncommon
species are lost from the system. We now have entered earths sixth mass
extinction event, this time human driven, and yet the setting aside of
protected areas may not be sufficient to prevent this loss of
biodiversity little research has rigorously quantified implications for
biodiversity at local scales. Many species that are now considered
common will be effected, but unless we target those ‘sleeper’ species
through monitoring of their distributions and functioning in
ecosystems, managers will only be able to be reactive to declines,
rather than proactively preventing them’ (28).
David Croft challenges the myth that there are more kangaroos
now than before white settlement, another unfounded argument used to
justify decades of decimation of kangaroos across Australia. He
believes the contention-that there have never been as many kangaroos in
Australia as until the advent of agriculture, is an absurdity. He bases
his argument on the following facts:
‘In the first several million
years of occupancy of the Australian continent by the modern kangaroo
fauna, who has the time machine to know?’ (How many kangaroos
there were pre -colonisation). (29)
When calculating the
country’s ability to support sheep and cattle in present day
conditions, Croft equates the lands ability to support the 2004
estimates of sheep and cattle at 22 million cattle and 105 million
sheep, or 237 million Dry Sheep Equivalent. This is equivalent to the
energy demands of 339 million to 1.185 billion kangaroos (at just 0.2-
0.7 DSE). The kangaroo population has been estimated at just 20 million
in recent years, and therefore:
‘Amazingly we have been
clever enough to create pasture for the equivalent 7-24 times the more
generous estimate of the number of kangaroos currently in Australia yet
this supposedly excessive number was unsustainable pre 1788’ (36).
In regard to the myths that man made water sources have increased kangaroo populations, Croft believes:
same landscape is populated with a vast network of drainage channels,
ephemeral creeks, gilgais and clay pans. All of these can hold water
for weeks to many months after a very modest rain’ (30).
make the effort to observe the behaviour of kangaroos in the arid
rangelands, as I have done for over 29 years, they will show that any
water source, no matter how small and fetid, is acceptable and usable’
He believes that not all their water requirements are met by drinking water, and:
‘Water taken in with plant matter and created with oxidation of foodstuffs both add to the water budget’ (30).
also refers to a statement by John Callaby who once supported the
interpretation that red kangaroos have increased since white settlement:
‘Red Kangaroos are not nearly so abundant as is generally thought and
that they are subject to great and sudden decline in numbers due both
to overshooting and to drought; where both occur together there seems
to be a very real chance that the species could be reduced to a level
from which it cannot recover’ (37).
Dr John Auty in his paper ‘Red Plague Grey Plague’ also
challenges the myth that there are more kangaroos now than before
European settlement and refers to a multitude of historical records and
‘At first white settlement, kangaroos were widely distributed in large numbers’.
In regard to the argument that with the reduction of dingoes, kangaroos have fewer predators:
‘The CI Dingo was a poor predator on kangaroos and for this reason was not used by Aborigines in hunting them.’
And to conclude:
numbers of kangaroos present in Australia at the time of first European
settlement can be estimated on the basis of the number of introduced
herbivores supported on unimproved pasture and browse. The population
was probably of the order of one to two hundred million’
(One tenth of the current estimated population)
Photo by Stella Reid
regard to the principles of the commercial utilisation of wildlife, in
particular kangaroos, it is important to note that while the Commercial
Kangaroo Industry has been estimated to be worth $200 million annually,
there are few who benefit from these profits, while the Australian
community loses its most valuable environmental and tourist icon.
Tourism is worth over $85 billion dollars annually to Australia, and
with our native wildlife being one of the main attractions for
international tourists, kangaroos are worth more to us alive than dead.
According to a recent survey, the kangaroo is the second most
recognized symbol in the world, second only to the Statue of Liberty.
As part of the same survey, international tourists were polled at
Sydney Airport, and it was found that half the international tourists
wanted to see kangaroos or other wildlife as part of their visit. One
quarter reported that they had not seen the kangaroos they wanted to
see during their visit. (32)
The kangaroo industry and the
Australian government is decimating our tourist icon for just $1 per
kilo, and around $6 for its skin. Tourism is worth more than four
hundred times the value of the industry that is decimating one of
Australia’s most signficant tourist attractions.
David Croft (UNSW, 2005) wrote in regard to kangaroos and tourism:
at times of good and frequent rainfall there will be a build up of the
population just like the bounty of the ephemeral plants that they eat.
We should marvel at this great wildlife spectacle and carry planeloads
of tourists to the Outback just like those few occasions when the Lake
Eyre basin fills with water and waterfowl. There is no greater sight
than red backs bent into a sea of wildflowers with the young leaping
and finding their full hopping stride as they cavort around their
mothers. If it were the Adoni plain of Etosha National Park or the Auob
River of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park of Southern Africa and the
sprinbok calves were pronking, it would be a wildlife spectacle. In
Australia it’s just a plague of bloody kangaroos’ (38).
Professor Steve Garlick, (Sunshine Coast
University, QLD) has spent the last 9 years rescuing and rehabilitating
kangaroos, and had this to say about the importance of saving them:
you ever have the wonderful opportunity, while alone, of being close
and spending quiet time with a wild animal you will find the soul
uplifted to heights of awareness not ordinarily experienced.
Beyond the simple biological and biophysical, you will discover skills,
knowledge and behaviour we humans rarely recognise but can learn much
from to help us in an increasingly tortuous world. Sharing some of your
life with kangaroos is particularly rewarding. Kangaroos are
gentle, affectionate and family-oriented creatures with relational
characteristics that respond well to human kindness. There is
much that can benefit the basic requirements of a decent human society
by closely observing the kangaroo in its environment. You will find no
dishonesty or deceit and, if you are in a relational ethic with them,
they will let you know whether they are prepared to trust you. At a
practical scale you will discover incredible navigation skills that
humans are forced to copy, not learn, through the application of
technology. In the end, being cruel to kangaroos and our other unique
wildlife, or treating them as just an object to be counted and then
discounted means we lose an opportunity to learn and gain an awareness
of ourselves that may prove crucial for our own very existence."
Photo by Stella Reid
In light of current statistics and dire
forecasts, it is clear that the kangaroo industry is unsustainable,
with the industry now reduced to killing kangaroos barely of breeding
age, at a rate faster than they can breed. If we were to refer only to
the scientific information within this document, we could safely say
that the kangaroo industry is in decline, taking our precious national
symbol down with it, and destroying one of our main assets and, most
profitable industries, the Australian Tourism Industry.
Jenna - Photo by Stella Reid.
1980, 73 million kangaroos have been killed by the kangaroo industry
and turned into pet food and sports shoes. Around 14 million pouch
joeys have been bashed to death or decapitated, and 7 million young
at-foot joeys have been orphaned, and left to die a slow and lonely
death from stress, starvation and exposure. This combined with years of
intense drought, floods and bush fires, has seen Red Kangaroos, Western
Grey Kangaroos, Eastern Grey Kangaroos, Wallaroos and Euros plummet to
densities of less than five per square kilometre (‘quasi extinct’)
across most of Queensland, New South Wales and South Australia. These
species are now at risk of extinction in these states, and if the
commercial industry is allowed to continue, scientific forecasts
predict mass extinctions of Red, Western and Eastern Grey Kangaroo,
Wallaroos and Euros, across most of New South Wales, Queensland and
We therefore make an urgent request, that the
Australian Government impose an immediate moratorium on the commercial
and non-commercial slaughter of kangaroos across New South Wales, South
Australia and Queensland, until such time as the results of a full
independent enquiry into kangaroo populations are presented to the
Australian parliament. For the sake of our country, for the sake of our
environment, for the sake of our economy and tourism industry, for the
sake of our reputation, and for the sake of our icon, now, more than
ever before, it’s time to stop killing kangaroos.
Hacker. R, McLeod. S, Drunan. J, Tenhumberg. B, Prahan. U,
(2004), Kangaroo Options in the Murray Darling Basin, Murray Darling
Commission, NSW Agriculture, Canberra, ACT, p.62,
2. Hacker et al, (2004), p.51.
3. Hacker et al, (2004), p.47.
4. Bilton, Amanda 2000, Univeristy NSW
Rowe.S, (2005), Kangaroo Myths and Realities, Australian Wildlife
Protection Council, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, p.104.
Thomsen. Dana, (2008), Ecologist - Kangaroo Management, Dept
Environment and Heritage (South Australia’s kangaroo populations and
‘harvest’ statistical data).
7. Lundie-Jenkins.G, (2008), Raw Data, Queensland Environment Protection Agency Macropod Management Unit.
Payne. N, (2007), 2008 Kangaroo Quota Report New South Wales, NSW
Department Environment and Conservation, North West Branch.
9. Hacker et al, (2004), p.57.
10. Hacker et al, (2004), p.63.
Olsen. P, and Low. T, (2006), Update on Current State of Scientific
Knowledge on Kangaroos in the Environment, including Ecological and
Economic Impact and Effect of Culling, School of Botany and Zoology,
Australia National University, Canberra, ACT, p.7.
R.J.S, Buckley. K, Jones. G, Morgan. D, Reicht. R.E, Trewin.D, (2006)
Australian State of the Environment 2006, Independent Report to the
Australian Minister for Environment and Heritage, 2006 Australian State
of the Environment Committee.
Wildlife Protection Association of Australia, (2007) Administrative
Appeals Tribunal of Australia, General Administrative Division, NSW
District Registry, No. 535 of 2007, Submissions for the Applicant,
14. AAT, No.N535 of 2007, p.51.
15. AAT, No.N535 of 2007, p.62.
16. AAT, No.N535 of 2007, p.43.
17. Environment Protection and Biodiversity Act 1999, Part 13A , www.environment.gov.au/epbc/index.html
18. AAT, No. 535N of 2007, p.59.
19. AAT, No.535N, p.59.
20. AAT, No.535 of 2007, p.70.
Olsen.P, and Low.T, (2006), Update on Current State of Scientific
Knowledge on Kangaroos in the Environment, Including Ecological and
Economic Impact and Effect of Culling, School of Botany and Zoology,
Australia National University, Canberra, ACT, p.9.
22. Grigg. G,
(2002), In Update on Current State of Scientific Knowledge on Kangaroos
in the Environment, Including Ecological and Economic Impact ad Effect
of Culling, Canberra, ACT, p.69.
23. Beeton et al, (2006), Indicator LD0-20.
Croft. D, (2004), The Future of Kangaroos: Going Going
Gone?, In ‘Kangaroo Myths and Realities’, Australan Wildlife
Protection Council, Melbourne, Victoria, p.233.
25. Witte.I, (2002), AAT of NSW, No.N535 of 2007, p.71.
Griffiths et al, 1974, Australian Wildlife Research, 1(1), p.27-43,
Olsen and Brayshaw, (2003), In Update on Current State of Scientific
Knowledge on Kangaroos in the Environment,
Including Ecological and Economic Impact ad Effect of Culling, School
of Botany and Zoology, Australia National University, Canberra, ACT,
28. Ramp D. and Roger E, (2002), Our ‘Common’ Wildlife May
be our Next ‘Sleeping’ Threatened Species, In ‘A Voice for Wildlife’:
Newsletter of the Australian Wildlife Protection Council, p.1.
Croft. D, (2005), The Future of Kangaroos: Going, Going, Gone?, In
‘Kangaroo Myths and Realities’, Australian Wildlife Protection Council,
Melbourne, Australia, p. 234.
30. Croft D, (2005), The Future of Kangaroos: Going, Going, Gone?, In Kangaroo Myths and Realities, p.238.
Auty. J, (2005), Red Plague Grey Plague, Kangaroo Myths and Legends, In
Kangaroo Myths and Realities, Australian Wildlife Protection Council,
Melbourne, Victoria, p.62.
32. O’Brien. P, (2005), Kangaroos,
Our Gentle Aussie Icons, Wildlife Protection Association Australia,
Beerwah, Queensland, Australia, p.21.
33. Williams.T, 2008, Canberra, ACT.
34. Drummond.M, 2008, Eastern Grey Kangaroo Populations Estimated for the period 2001-2020, Canberra, ACT.
University New South Wales, (2005), Kangaroo Myths and Realitites,
Australian Wildlife Protection Council, Melbourne, Victoria, p.207.
36. Croft.D, (2005), The Future of Kangaroos: Going, Going, Gone ?, In Kangaroo Myths and Realities, p.236.
37. Frith & Callaby, (1969), The Future of Kangaroos: Going, Going, Gone ?, In Kangaroos Myths and Realities, p.237.
38. Croft.D, (2005), The Future of Kangaroos: Going, Going, Gone?, In Kangaroo Myths and Realities, p.241.
39. Garlick.S, 2008, NSW.