Increasing cull numbers won't help starving roos
Kangaroos near Jindalee Crescent in O'Malley. Photo: Rohan Thomson
Altering the number of kangaroos culled each year will not avoid some young adults starving to death at the end of winter.
The ACT Parks and Conservation Service director Daniel Iglesias said sightings of higher numbers of kangaroos happened at the end of winter every year because they had to forage further for food.
After heavy frosts, what little pasture was left in nature reserves was of poor quality.
''Kangaroos are doing it tough between July and August. It is the highest time for morbidity, a lot of sub-adults [adolescents] die.''
He said this was a natural phenomenon.
Motorists have reported more kangaroos along Hindmarsh Drive at O'Malley and near nature reserves in the south and north of the city.
The Canberra Times previously reported last year's winter cull killed about 2440 kangaroos of the planned 3427 while this year, government shooters had hoped to kill more than 2000 but only about 1100 were shot.
Mr Iglesias said increasing the number wouldn't help the kangaroos maintain their numbers over winter.
The annual targeted conservation cull involved a small percentage of a particular grazing area, not a territory-wide cull.
Vicky Papas, who lives in Dalman Crescent, O'Malley, adjoining a reserve, said her family was extra careful coming home at night because kangaroos were jumping onto the road in pairs.
In summer, her mother-in-law visiting from overseas had been mesmerised at dusk by large numbers of kangaroos grazing peacefully near homes.
''They were huge, now we are seeing a lot of babies,'' she said.
''I know early in the mornings, even in the middle of night, our ensuite faces the reserve, we see them hanging about.''
She said hares and native ducks were about as well. Her husband Paul photographed 25 ducks sitting on the front lawn.
Mr Iglesias said reports of more foxes in Canberra was in line with cities the world over, including London, which had big fox populations because of their adaptability.
The best way to avoid them was a tidy backyard that did not have food scraps lying about.
Rangers could poison foxes in national parks, but could not do so in urban areas because of the danger to domestic animals.
University of Queensland emeritus Professor Gordon Grigg said the kangaroo numbers could crash during drought and respond in good seasons.
An NRMA check of claims data in 2011 found that Belconnen, with 23 collisions, was the worst hot-spot for kangaroos, followed by Hume (21) and Woden (12).
Insurer AAMI said Canberra-Queanbeyan and the Hunter Valley region are hot spots for animal collision claims.