National collaboration and action is urgently required to reform kangaroo management.
Kangaroo numbers are declining due to drought and millions are starving. This is an animal welfare disaster and an unacceptable national disgrace according to participants at symposiums at the Australian Rangelands Society Conference and at the Ecological Society Conference in 2019. They produced the statement below which was drafted by ecologists and is endorsed by professional societies and organisations.
The situation is also aggravating the impacts of the drought, damaging the sustainability of primary production and potentially threatening the social licence of all rangeland pastoral industries. It is also affecting other biodiversity.
When it rains and numbers beginning increasing again, Australia needs to have a plan for a reformed management approach that will avoid a recurrence. Planning should begin now.
National Kangaroo Strategy
A National Kangaroo Strategy should be a component of drought mitigation strategies. It should be developed by a Taskforce with input from Indigenous Australians, welfare, production/industry and conservation stakeholders (including ecologists). The Strategy would support State and Commonwealth governments in making better informed decision-making around kangaroo management. The Strategy would set out how to improve animal welfare and enhance sustainability.
Link to the Joint Statement and list of endorsees
Drafters of the statement – John Read, George Wilson, Rosie Cooney, Graeme Coulson, David Paton, Melissa Snape, Katherine Moseby, and Fiona Garland