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Majura roos in sights of cullers

Kangaroos... a pest?

Kangaroos... a pest? Photo: Rohan Thomson

The battle lines are already being drawn - animal liberation activists are training new volunteers to interrupt kangaroo culls in Canberra soon.

Although none have yet been announced, an Animal Liberation ACT spokeswoman said she anticipated culls in the capital, after a landcare group which had spent a decade trying to nurture and reclaim rare woodlands on Mount Majura said kangaroos were destroying its efforts.

Friends of Mount Majura said they had collected native grass seeds, tried to re-seed the reserve, only to have them eaten out by large numbers of roos.

More kangaroos have arrived since road work started on the Majura Parkway, which has driven feral animals up the mountain into sheltered woodlands on Canberra's northern outskirts.

Friends of Mount Majura co-ordinator Waltraud Pix said that since 2009 the group had been checking grazing impacts of kangaroos, rabbits and weather on the reserve's herbaceous ground layer.

"We fenced small grassland areas to exclude kangaroos and rabbits, kangaroos only, or none of the two herbivores and recorded the changes of the ground layer with repeat photography at fixed times of the year,'' she said.

''We were astonished to observe how the lawn-like grass layer recovered as a response to removing grazing pressure.''

With three years of repeat photographic records of the seasonal changes, and separate impacts of kangaroos and rabbits, the evidence is now conclusive.

Territory and Municipal services director of Parks and Conservation Daniel Iglesias said staff were counting kangaroos on reserves around Canberra and a decision on whether to cull some of the animals this year would be based on the numbers observed.

But he said the Friends' observations on the impact of kangaroos were backed by science.

''We're not saying there isn't a place for kangaroos, there is of course a place for kangaroos in the environment, but where we have a situation where there are too many, the body of evidence is growing that there is impact on the environment,'' he said.

But Animal Liberation ACT spokeswoman Carolyn Drew said there was never a need to cull kangaroos, because they regulated their own numbers, and more volunteers than last year would turn out to attempt to interrupt any shootings.

11 comments

  • COuld it be time to consider another fenced reserve like Muligains Flats. I don't normally like the iead of fencing an area of like that, but MF fencing has allowed for the breding program expansion of rare aniamls as well as plants. It may be benefical to have a second site to move animals, and those that like more mountain areas into, as well as 'beefing up' the rare plant supply.

    Also worth a look before considering a cull

    Commenter
    Tom
    Date and time
    March 21, 2013, 12:14PM
    • A native Australian animal eating a native Australian grass. Am I the only one who thinks this is a non-issue? Personally I'd be more concerned about the damage to the mountain from rabbits and other introduced pests.

      Commenter
      JazzyJess
      Location
      Gungahlin
      Date and time
      March 21, 2013, 1:43PM
      • I agree JazzyJess. Does anyone else find it odd that we need to remove the native animals? What about the foxes and rabbits? We're the ones driving the roos up into the area - we created the problem. So the way to fix it is to shoot the roos? Sad logic.

        Commenter
        WorkingMum
        Date and time
        March 22, 2013, 9:21AM
    • If the kangaroos arent endangered and the other native flora and fauna are then just cull the roos. Simple really. The Greenies of course will be up in arms but torn between killed one to save another.

      Commenter
      J72
      Date and time
      March 21, 2013, 2:23PM
      • Labels don't help anyone. The old "the greenies will be up in arms" is a bit out of date these days. You will find it is quite ordinary Canberrans that are not happy about murder being committed in their name rather than radical activists that makes up the vast majority of those opposed to the cull. It is called having compassion, something most seem to have for their pets but for whatever reason cannot extend to other living animals that share our planet

        Commenter
        Treat all beings equal
        Location
        canberra
        Date and time
        March 22, 2013, 2:23PM
    • Mt Majura should be developed. The tracks are crap and it it full of thistles and weeds.

      Commenter
      Sharron
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      March 21, 2013, 2:39PM
      • Kangaroos will reproduce while ever there is green pick. They usually have a production line of embryoes waiting for the right conditions.Anyone who thinks theya re "endangered" hasn't been out of town

        Commenter
        Ted
        Date and time
        March 21, 2013, 8:35PM
        • Anyone opposed to a roo cull is a flat earther. The scientific, ethical and environmental research and knowledge all put a cull as the most humane, safest, efficient and environmentally responsible way to deal with an overpopulation of roos.
          I wish these animal activists would read a science paper so they know the facts support a cull, and not 'believe' in superstitions and misguided irrational lies and deception to market their anti-science and anti-environment views to misinform the public.
          Last year the animal activists attempted to arrange a slaughter a sensitive bilby reserve. This year put these activists in jail for their hypocritical cruelty to animals.

          Commenter
          Skip
          Location
          the bush
          Date and time
          March 22, 2013, 10:57AM
          • Skip - the need for culling is symptomatic of the existing managment regimes in place that facilitate the increasing of Kangaroos numbers. If a cull is the answer what is/are the actual management questions that are firstly being asked. It sounds like the old ACT Government theory of gee there are too many roos (Defence roos as Dr David Shorthouse once remarked) at Majura so lets shoot them to remove the numbers this year. This is opposed to questioning (as scientists we should do this) why are the roo numbers the way they are and what existing or new mechanisms can be altered or established to reduce these numbers in the longer term. I for one have suggested that the Kangaroo numbers need to be managed as a whole of Mujara Valley solution, which includes the NSW Nature Reserve, the pine plantations and down to Jerro, rather than just the NTG and Box Grassland areas that retain some environmental values. Without addressing the management issues, culling is only a year by year solution and does very little to provide a long term solution.

            Commenter
            greenie from Bris
            Date and time
            March 22, 2013, 1:41PM
            • Once again, it looks like regular law abiding citizens are going to have to put their own health and safety on the line to stop the murder of innocent baby kangaroos and their mothers by thugs with lethal weapons. Perhaps, if people didn't have such a human centric view of the world they could appreciate that it is us that are overpopulating the planet and causing the natural habitat of these animals to be squeezed. Of course talking about reducing human numbers wouldn't fly would it........

              Commenter
              Treat all beings equal
              Location
              canberra
              Date and time
              March 22, 2013, 2:20PM

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