19 June 2020

Conservation cull for 2018 announced

| My Gungahlin
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Several nature reserves and adjacent territory land will be closed from Monday 7 May, from late afternoon until early morning each day, to allow a conservation cull of Eastern Grey Kangaroos.

Sites will re-open from Friday 27 July, or earlier if the program is completed sooner. Special opening hours will be in place for Mulligans Flat Woodlands Sanctuary to allow their popular night-time tours to continue.

“Kangaroos are an integral part of the ecosystems around Canberra. The conservation cull of up to 3253 Eastern Grey Kangaroos protects biodiversity and maintains kangaroo populations at appropriate levels to minimise impacts on other plants and animals in critical grassland and woodland sites,” the Director of ACT Parks and Conservation Service, Daniel Iglesias, said.

“During the conservation cull, up to 1822 kangaroos will be removed from reserves across the ACT and up to 1431 kangaroos from Googong Foreshores, which is managed by the ACT Government.

“The Googong Foreshores area must be protected as it contains threatened species and ecological communities and forms part of an important wildlife corridor that extends from the Tinderry Range in NSW to north-eastern ACT.

“Our ecologists have used the best current scientific knowledge to analyse the status of each reserve’s population, the amount and type of vegetation, rainfall and other relevant factors to determine the numbers to be culled to support conservation outcomes.

“While nobody likes culling kangaroos, it is currently the most humane method of population management available to the ACT Government as a responsible land manager. Our cull is closely monitored by vets.

“Our research into the use of a fertility control vaccine as a potential non-lethal approach to kangaroo management is showing positive preliminary results but is not an easy or quick solution. Trials to date have demonstrated the contraceptive agent ‘GonaCon’ can be effectively delivered to kangaroos remotely using a dart, achieving a high rate of contraception in treated animals after one year. We will need several more years of monitoring the treated animals before we can conclusively say it is an effective and practical form of population management.

“The most recent research results on the kangaroo fertility control trial are now available along with two other new research reports.

“One report explores the relationship between kangaroos and their environment by looking at kangaroo density, grazing pressure, ground layer habitat structure and indices of biodiversity. This research, conducted over several years, improves our understanding about the grazing impacts of kangaroos in relation to pasture growth rates and pasture condition.

“The other report looks at why ‘die-off’ events happen among sub-adult kangaroos. It shows that sub-adult kangaroos in high density populations have poorer body condition compared to those in lower density populations where more food per kangaroo is available. In some unmanaged kangaroo populations, poor body condition plus higher numbers of parasites can contribute to starvation events.

“This new research will allow us to strengthen the models that underpin our kangaroo management program,” Mr Iglesias said.

Mr Iglesias said the conservation cull would closely adhere to the National Code of Practice for the Humane Shooting of Kangaroos and Wallabies for Non-Commercial Purposes.

“To help improve public safety and detect illegal activity, warning signs will be placed at all entry points to the reserves, surveillance cameras used and reserves patrolled by Parks and Conservation Service staff during culling operations.

“Unfortunately, cull protesters sometimes vandalise or remove warning signs, putting the public in danger. I urge anyone seeing this, or other, illegal activity to report it to Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or Access Canberra on 13 22 81.”

The following sites will be closed during the cull:

3 pm to 7 am: Callum Brae Nature Reserve, East Jerrabomberra Grasslands and Kama Nature Reserve.

5 pm to 7 am: Aranda Bushland Nature Reserve and adjoining land, Mount Mugga Mugga Nature Reserve, Isaacs Ridge Nature Reserve and Isaacs Pines, West Majura Grasslands and eastern slopes of Mount Ainslie Nature Reserve.

6 pm to 6 am: Mulligans Flat Nature Reserve, except Wednesdays and Fridays, and Goorooyaroo Nature Reserve.

6 pm to 8 am: Googong Foreshores.

Further information is available from www.environment.act.gov.au

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