Australia is set to kill more than 1,900 eastern grey kangaroos starting Monday, May 16, 2016, because of the devastating impact that an exploding population is having on the local environment. The eastern grey kangaroo is a marsupial found in southern and eastern Australia, with a population of several million. It is also known as the great grey kangaroo and the Forester kangaroo.
The culling of kangaroos will be done across Australian Capital Territory (ACT), Director of Parks and Conservation with the ACT government, Daniel Iglesias, told the media in Melbourne. Ten reserves across the territory are to be closed to the public each evening to allow for the extermination of up to 1,991 animals, ABC news reported.
“We know for a fact that over-abundant numbers of eastern grey kangaroos can have a devastating impact on the local environment,” he said. “We know that it can lead to de-vegetation and the complete degradation of certain areas if we let it go too long. This is not about eradication, this is about sustainable numbers of eastern grey kangaroos,” Mr Iglesias added.
The government is also conducting trials on a sterilization drug as an alternative to physical elimination of the animals in the Australian outback. “The initial results are saying ‘yes there is a response in the female that might suggest that this drug could reduce fertility’,” he said.
Despite the commercial killings and some culls, the eastern grey remains common and widespread. It covers the entire range it occupied when Europeans arrived in Australia in 1788 and it often comes into conflict with agriculture as it uses the more fertile districts that now carry crops or exotic pasture grasses which kangaroos readily eat.
Past culls have been controversial, with several attracting protests by activists looking to disrupt government work.
The current culling program is expected to be concluded by August 1. Almost 4000 kangaroos have been killed over the past two years as part of the annual cull by the government, local media reported.
The Animal Liberation Group of Australia has said that almost 90 million kangaroos and wallabies have been lawfully killed for commercial purposes in the last 20 years.- CINEWS