More than 2400 kangaroos will be killed in the ACT government's cull in 2015, with trained shooters on site from the end of the month.
The government has secured a two-year licence for the cull in a bid to head off the legal challenges launched each of the past two years by animal rights groups.
If a challenge is made and fails this year, the government says it will be able to cull for two years without more legal hold-ups.
It is unclear whether any groups will appeal the cull, but protesters will nevertheless try to disrupt the night-time shoots at the nine nature reserves . The large Wanniassa Hills reserve has been added to the list for the first time, along with the Crace and Gungaderra reserves in Gungahlin.
Mulligans Flat and the Jerrabomberra Grasslands have been dropped.
Regional Friends of Wildlife spokesperson Frankie Seymour said the cull was cruel and unjustified.
"Oh my god, not again," she said. "They're obviously hellbent on wiping out the last of the ACT's eastern grey kangaroos ... The cruelty is indisputable, the science that supports it is absolute rubbish and the only reason why I can see why they would keep doing it is because they really really want the kangaroos gone."
But Territory and Municipal Services Minister Shane Rattenbury said this year's number was not a record, with about 3500 killed in one year.
"This is a really difficult issue and I think many people in the community are uncomfortable about it and would prefer it didn't happen but ... the best available scientific advice at the moment is that this is the most reasonable way to manage our natural woodlands and grasslands for the benefit of all species," he said.
A challenge was launched by the Australian Society for Kangaroos in 2013 and Animal Liberation ACT in 2014. Both failed. Animal Liberation spokesperson Carolyn Drew said she had no comment on whether her group would appeal this year, but last year the tribunal had simply discounted the group's evidence.
"It's abundantly clear that the legal recourse to discussion and reasoned debate is closed to any other voice [than the government's]," she said.
She questioned the "extraordinary" numbers to be shot and the government's methods of calculating kangaroo numbers.
Her group would protest at the reserves at night, but with two teams of shooters and nine reserves, the odds were stacked against them, she said.
ACT Parks and Conservation director Daniel Iglesias said the ACT had some of the highest densities of kangaroos per square kilometre in the country, leading to overgrazing, destroying ecosystems and threatening some species, including four threatened woodland bird species and the endangered grassland earless dragon, striped legless lizard and Perunga grasshopper.
The government has released summaries of research and a detailed justification of its cull this year, including a paper on how it calculates cull numbers. It aims for a density of one kangaroo per hectare in grassland, with fewer in open woodland (90 per cent of grassland numbers), woodland (50 per cent of grassland numbers), and forest (just 10 per cent of the number of kangaroos allowed in grassland). It says a reserves with 100 hectares each of forest, open woodland and grassland could sustain 200 kangaroos.
An audit in 2013 found that of carcasses inspected after the cull, all of the kangaroos had been killed with a single shot, the government says.
The cull will take place the following nature reserves: Callum Brae on Mugga Lane; Crace, Goorooyarroo, Gungaderra and Mulanggari in Gungahlin; Kama and the Pinnacle near Hawker; Mount Painter near Cook; and Wanniassa Hills.
The sites will be closed between 3pm and 7am each day, except Mount Painter, the Pinnacle and Wanniassa Hill, which will close from 5pm till 7am.