George Wilson was invited to present to the Agforce 360 Regional Conference of pastoralists in Charleville. He argued that landholders should regard the >30 million kangaroos on their properties in Qld as an asset rather than liability. Even on current market value they are worth more than $400 million. Agforce is considering changing its policy to actively support kangaroo industry notwithstanding significant prejudice and disdain from some cattle producers. If landholders become more involved in quality and management of supply through cooperative management the value will increase, potentially creating a margin for the Cooperative and landholders. Items about the presentation were run on ABC radio and Queensland Country Life.
Graziers must hop into roo fight: QLD Country Life report. See the full story by Queensland Country Life here.
ABC Rural interviewed George Wilson in QLD this week about how Landholders should consider kangaroos an asset, not a pest. See the ABC news story here.
Dr George Wilson is able to help urban landholders with non-lethal control of kangaroo populations, in particular sterilisation of dominant males. Sterilisation of dominant males is:
- One treatment
- Relatively cheap
- Doesn’t interfere natural behaviour
- Non lethal
- Public relations acceptable
- Leads to an effective non-lethal reduction in rate of increase.
Contact George Wilson for more information or questions.
George Wilson made a submission to Inquiry into National Landcare Program 2014 by the Senate Standing Committees on Environment and Communications. The submission drew attention to the pilot projectbeing run by the Maranoa Kangaroo Harvesters and Growers Cooperative Ltd in south-central Queensland. The project involves the collaboration of landholders and kangaroo harvesters through the local Landcare Group. The Mitchell and District Landcare Association is the major shareholder in the Cooperative. The shareholding has the capacity to provide income to the Landcare group and support its objectives.
Joe Hockey and Barnaby Joyce discussing kangaroo management at Mitchell Airport
George Wilson presented to the Agforce macropod committee in Charleville Qld with a view to the lobby organisation regarding the commercial use of kangaroos as less of a threat to their beef cattle enterprises. The theme was integrating kangaroo management into livestock production on pastoral lands, - managing total grazing pressure and enabling landholder benefit.
He participated in the meetings of the Maranoa Kangaroo Cooperative and briefed Barnaby Joyce and Joe Hockey on opportunities for more rational kangaroo management that delivered positive out comes for conservation during their brief visit to Mitchell Qld on 11 September.
George Wilson discussed Indigenous land management governance issues with David Murray head of the government’s Financial Institutions Inquiry. Murray is proposing the establishment of investment guidelines to ensure that the estimated $10 billion asset base of Indigenous corporations is not squandered. They would be similar to sovereign wealth fund principles. George has been advocating mentoring support for Indigenous Directors and the greater application of science to complement traditional knowledge on indigenous lands which are 20% of Australia will 1.5 million hectares.
Questabird – more like Questafun! AWS is reviewing the iPhone app now available for free download from the App Store. It is also available on Android. The Questbird app combines gaming technology with wildlife science. Kids and big kids can join in to locate and photograph birds and other wildlife in the wild to receive points and gold. Current Quests created by AWS are shown below. Quests can be used by researchers and government interested in locating certain species – verified sightings become usable data, going to the very important Atlas of Living Australia’s database (ala.org.au). See http://www.questabird.com/ for more information.
Australian Wildlife Services has been working with ACT Parks and Wildlife Services and TAMS to develop some maps of the new proposed Molonglo River Reserve for inclusion in the MRR Plan of Management. The reserve covers the lower Molonglo River past Scrivener Dam almost all the way to the confluence with the Murrumbidgee River. The Plan of Management is currently in draft and will be made public for consultation later in the year.
Australian Wildlife Services undertook bird and vegetation surveys on Toogimbie Indigenous Protected Area (IPA) in April. Toogimbie are using their cultural access licence (water) as well as revegetation and pest management strategies to rehabilitate their wetlands. The wetlands have cultural and environmental significance in the region. Surveys focused on birds and wetland vegetation, in particular setting up of long-term monitoring transects and collection of baseline data. The Toogimbie Rangers will then be able to repeat the surveys over time to show environmental change as a result of their land management activities. Opportunistic records of frogs were also collected. Further surveys are still needed in bats, reptiles, mammals and water quality pending funding. Indigenous Protected Areas across Australia need more scientific support to undertake a range of environmental improvement activities. More information on Toogimbie IPA and the Nari Nari Tribal Council.
There are extensive kangaroo population surveys undertaken in Australia throughout the kangaroo harvesting commercial zones. Population estimates from these areas are used to set yearly harvesting quotas to ensure a sustainable kangaroo population and industry. However, there are extensive areas outside of the commercial zone with kangaroos that are not included in these population estimates. There hasn’t been a national population estimate of kangaroo numbers in Australia since 1987 (Caughley et al 1987). Australian Wildlife Services is undertaking a project that will aim to utilise known population densities in the commercial zone to extrapolate to the un-surveyed areas for the red kangaroo, eastern grey kangaroo, western grey kangaroo. Extrapolation will be undertaken using ecologically based GIS modelling and Maximum Entropy Modeling (MAXENT - run through the Atlas of Living Australia’s Spatial Portal). Using climatic and physical environmental variables, Australian Wildlife Services is attempting to define why are kangaroos where they are and why some densities are greater than others. The aim is to produce a conservative population estimate of the three species in Australia.