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Our State government appears to be on a campaign to eradicate native wildlife from Victoria, especially kangaroos

Media Release by Australian Society for Kangaroos:

Wildlife groups are calling for an inquiry into the slaughter of half a million kangaroos in Victoria by farmers since 1999.

According to the 1975 Wildlife Act, Eastern Grey Kangaroos are a "protected" species!

Landholders in Victoria are being given permits to kill tens of thousands of protected kangaroos every year, even in good seasons and in areas not affected by drought. This is despite research showing that kangaroos do not compete with stock for pasture.

Kangaroos are also being shot without proper assessment of population numbers, locally or regionally, putting them at risk of local and regional extinction.

In recent cases, local residents were devastated to discover that permits has been given to kill the equivalent of the total population of kangaroos in Colac, Gippsland, and Bendigo, causing a public outcry for the unjustified and brutal killing of protected native wildlife.

Colac resident Carola Anstis and East Gippsland resident Valerie Hickey, recently had to stand by and watch as their local kangaroos were shot by local farmers.

“Why permits to kill kangaroos in the Marlo area (East Gippsland) are being given, is beyond comprehension. The land here where sheep and cattle graze is in excellent condition, and unaffected by drought.  Kangaroos are not abundant in this area, and pose no threat to stock pasture.

The DSE and farmers have a long association, and I believe the DSE feels obliged to comply with farmers wishes. This issue could be addressed if DSE provided farmers with accurate facts about our wildlife and the current research about their positive co existence”, said Valerie Hickey.

Carola Anstis is equally disturbed by the current situation and the destruction of kangaroos that live at her wildlife sanctuary.

"With regard to my particular case, and recent permits to kill kangaroos on my neighbours property, no assessment was made of the property with regard to pasture improvement and carrying capacity to determine whether in fact there is direct competition for food. No assessment was made as to whether the kangaroos are on the property all day, part of the day or just passing through, and no means of control other than the limited suggestions for gates in fences were examined before the permit to cull was issued.  

I refer to Wildlife Act 1975 and remind DSE that Eastern Grey Kangaroos are a protected species", stated Mrs Anstis.

“The research is very clear, that kangaroos do not compete with sheep and cattle for food, yet state and federal governments continue to allow the slaughter of millions of kangaroos every year across Australia based on this myth. In fact research is showing that kangaroos are beneficial to the environment and can enhance farm production if allowed to graze with stock”, said Nikki Sutterby,
Australian Society for Kangaroos.

The RSPCA has also expressed concern for the slaughter of kangaroos by private landholders and reported the following in its “Survey of the Extent of Compliance with the Requirements of the Code of Practice for the Humane Shooting of Kangaroos”. (Prepared for Environment Australia by RSPCA Australia July 2002).

RSPCA Report 2002 Kangaroo Shooting Code compliance

“The cruelty associated with non-commercial kangaroo killing is neglected by the authorities and control over the number of kangaroos killed and the methods used is ineffective”.

“The consensus of opinion given by those associated with kangaroo management is that there is a far higher degree of inhumane killing of kangaroos in non-commercial killing.”

“There is no requirement for the license/permit holder to undertake any training in humane shooting or in firearms competency. In no state is there any system in place for monitoring the extent of cruelty associated with non-commercial shooting of kangaroos and it seems unlikely that any could be organised under the present method of damage mitigation”.  

If this government has it's way, "protected" indigenous animals will no longer be living in our State, except in parks, zoos and sanctuaries.   Victoria is already the most damaged and cleared State of Australia.  Native animals are being made the scapegoats for Victoria's demise when they are actually a part of our ecology, not environmental threats.

“In summary, the Code requires that when a female has been killed her pouch young must also be killed immediately by decapitation, a heavy blow to the skull, or shooting.” Is this how we treat our wildlife?

AWPC - Government sanctioned cruelty

PLEASE CONTACT VALERIE HICKEY FOR PHOTOS THAT EXPOSE THE HEALTHY PASTURE COVER ON HER NEIGHBOUR'S PROPERTY, WHERE KANGAROOS WERE AUTHORISED TO BE KILLED TO PROTECT PASTURE.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT

VALERIE HICKEY
03 51548581/0427548581/41079007

CAROLA AND RON ANSTIS
CARLISLE RIVER WILDLIFE SANCTUARY
PH; 52350202

NIKKI SUTTERBY
CO-ORDINATOR
AUSTRALIAN SOCIETY FOR KANGAROOS
PO BOX 524 CASTLEMAINE VIC 3450
PH; 0417354408

Comments

Many thanks for writing this, Vivienne.
Sheila Newman

Though I respect the right of any individual or entity to hold, express and defend an opinion, my respect decreases rapidly when the holder resorts to untruths and deception.

In reference to the posting of this ASK media release I would like to draw the attention of candobetter admin. to the claims within, namely;

“This is despite research showing that kangaroos do not compete with stock for pasture.”

and,

“The research is very clear, that kangaroos do not compete with sheep and cattle for food, yet state and federal governments continue to allow the slaughter of millions of kangaroos every year across Australia based on this myth……”

Since I first read this claim that Kangaroos do not compete with livestock I have searched extensively for any research which may validate it. I now refute validity of these statements as my extensive internet search failed to turn up any hint whatsoever of research, scientific or otherwise to support this drivel.

All relevant research I could locate by CSIRO, University of NSW, University Sydney et al recognized kangaroos as having a value of Dry Sheep Equivalent (DSE). By definition any view that attributes a DSE value to kangaroos, regardless of extent cannot support a claim of ‘no competition with stock’, as the two concepts are completely incompatible.

I fully appreciate the level of competition between Kangaroos and stock is a contentious and hotly debated issue and is highly variable between seasons and regions, but it is my contention that the claim of ‘no competition’ is in itself a baseless myth and a quite blatant attempt to use propaganda the sway opinion of the naive and gullible.

I make no assumptions about the origin of this fiction, perhaps Ms Ortega, Nikki Sutterby and or the author of the document have been duped or failed to check sources.

Therein lies the danger of false propaganda such as this, it destroys people's credibility and casts doubt on any other opinion they may hold.

I hereby request that candobetter.org remove this post to preserve the credibility of this site unless, a legitimate citation to identify the ‘research’ referred is forthcoming, so its credibility can be subject to scrutiny.

Search for Truth thank you for commenting and thinking about this very important issue.
What we are trying to say when we say 'no competition' is that kangaroos have no impact on sheep and cows. Check out this CSIRO study which says that 'competition between sheep and kangaroos is small'.
http://www.publish.csiro.au/paper/WR9740027.htm

Then this website shows that grazing pressure of kangaroos is only 1% compared to cattle 68% and sheep 31% (avg).
http://www.environment.gov.au/soe/2006/publications/drs/indicator/162/index.html

Our point is that since competition is small, why refer to kangaroos as pests and call for a 'cull'?

Hope this helps clarify things and show you that there is no good reason for kangaroos to be 'culled'. The threats to kangaroos' survival by the overzealous killing by the commercial kangaroo industry, government and farmers in addition to drought, bushfires, flooding, habitat loss, illegal killing, roadkill and so on are very real and well documented on http://www.stopkangarookilling.org
If you take the time to do research you will see why our national icon, the kangaroo, is in great jeopardy.

"It’s embarrassing for Australia that we eat our own wildlife ....I’m here to tell you it’s just not right. Simply do not buy, use or eat kangaroo products”
~ Steve Irwin
Sign the most important petition ever created to help kangar

The real issue is an over-abundance of livestock in Australia, not grazing impacts of kangaroos!

Covering approximately 60 per cent of Australia, the agricultural sector uses more land and water than any other industry in Australia (ABS 2003). Australia is among the world’s largest producers of red meat, with 2.15 million tonnes (carcass weight) of beef and veal, 435 000 tonnes of lamb and 258 000 tonnes of mutton produced in 2007-08.

It takes 16 million sheep, 8 to 9 million head of cattle, 5.6 million pigs and nearly half a billion chickens just to meet the meat requirements of Australians.

According to the Australian Conservation Foundation's Elle Morell, it takes around 200 L of water - mostly to grow grain and to wash out abattoirs - and creates around five kilograms of greenhouse gas emissions to get a small, 150 g steak onto your plate.

Due to the high water dependency, and adverse effects of climate change, such as increased temperature, likely decreases in rainfall, and increase occurrence of extreme weather events and drought condition, most farmers will experience negative consequences of climate change.

Australia's natural resources are declining faster than we are able to protect and repair them. Issues such as salinity, soil acidity, pollution of waterways by nutrients, and loss of native vegetation are costing agricultural industries and the community billions of dollars.  The real threat to Australia's ecosystems is not from native animals, but from our massive consumption and export of sheep and cattle, and land clearing.

This coupled with over-grazing at times of drought causes soil erosion often linked to salinization of the soils which prohibits the growth of most plant species.

In Australia desertification results from the grazing of livestock. Before the introduction of rangeland farming by Europeans there was an essentially natural ecosystem with none of the native animals having the hardhooves of sheep and cattle.  These are introduced species and their impacts on pasture are multiple of that of kangaroos. 

The grazing impact of kangaroos is only between 0.2 and 0.7 of a dry-sheep-equivalent. (non-lactating)


Original source: Bureau of Rural Sciences 2005, Interpretation of livestock
density and net primary productivity, unpub. Data.
Image originally displayed on page
"Indicator: LD-20 Total grazing pressure relative to net primary productivity" at
http://www.environment.gov.au/soe/2006/publications/drs/indicator/162/ .

Of course, all animals need food, but kangaroos are selective feeders and will only compete with livestock under adverse conditions. 

CSIRO showed that wheat crop damage was a myth and that kangaroos aren't keen on any farm crops and can't thrive on them.  (Arnold 1990)

http://www.ecosmagazine.com/?act=view_file&file_id=EC66p13.pdf

Where competition occurs at very low pasture biomasses, kangaroos suffer more than stock since stock have been bred over tens of thousands of years to survive under almost any conditions until they exhaust all food supplies regardless of the ecological consequences. Adverse competitive pressure on red kangaroo populations was predicted by Dr.G. Caughley.

A study by Steve McLeod (1996) showed there is no competitive effect for grazing between sheep and kangaroos even during drought.  Competition only occurs only in exceptionally poor conditions, and it is more likely to adversely affect kangaroos, not sheep!  Diets converge (creating more competition) in degraded lands where kangaroos and livestock are both dependent on an ephemeral 'bounty' due to sustained rainfalls. This would indicate dysfunctional landscapes, with pastoralism as the major contributor to dysfunction. 

Another study in Sturt National Park showed that grazing patterns weren't determined by water distribution for livestock but by vegetation, and best resting spots. (Montague-Drake & Croft 2004).  Low vegetation was more to do with sheep grazing than kangaroos.

There are often significant differences in the diets of domestic livestock and kangaroos , and amongst kangaroos themselves due to the lower metabolic requirements of kangaroos, their smaller mouthparts and lack of ruminations, their lower water turnover and consequent greater foraging distanced from water.  (David B. Croft)

Further Observations on the Plants Eaten by Kangaroos and Sheep Grazing Together in a Paddock in South-Western Queensland:

http://www.publish.csiro.au/paper/WR9740027.htm

The authors conclude that competition between sheep and kangaroos is small.

Kangaroos are selective feeders. Studies in rangelands in western NSW have shown that there is very little overlap in diets between kangaroos and domestic stock.

(See Problems caused by kangaroos and wallabies of September 03 by Ian Temby.)

Kangaroos are relatively miserly drinkers compared to livestock and people. They lap with a long and narrow tongue and do not suck water.  They can access water that would not be possible for livestock, even water with mud and algae that would be unacceptable to sheep.

Almost half of our marsupials are extinct, endangered or vulnerable.    

Kangaroos are the true spirit of Australia and the land belongs to them, but they are being blamed for all the damage from  urban sprawl and agriculture, and these animals are being herded into smaller and smaller fragmented pockets of land, with some of them trapped in pockets of urban sprawl.

Sadly, we have landholders and farmers squabbling over how many blades of grass a red or grey kangaroo apparently steals from the mouth of a sheep or cow! The hatred of kangaroos is mostly due to misinformation, hysteria and a mean-spiritedness directed at true native Australian animals that have survived millions of years living in perfect harmony with their ecology, but are now being persecuted, vilified and made a scapegoat for human-caused environmental degradation.  
 
References:
Steve McLeod (1996 "The foraging behaviour of the arid zone herbivores, the red kangaroo and the sheep and their role in its competitive interactions, population dynamics and life-history strategies".  PhD thesis, University of New South Wales)

(Caughley, G.(1987) Ecological relationships. In Kangaroos: their ecology and management in the sheep rangelands of Australia.(Caughley, G.,Shepherd, N.& Short,J.eds). Cambridge University Press Cambridge.)

Montague-Drake R. Croft DB (2004).  Do kangaroos exhibit water-focused grazing patterns in New South Wales?  A case study in Sturt National Park, "Australain Mammalogy 26. 87-100)

The issue I raised in my comment (10-1-10) was in relation to truth and factual reporting, not about comparative populations of species, merits of kangaroos nor did I provide any argument for or against kangaroo culls.

The comments from Menkit (11-1-10) and Vivienne (12-1-10) both frequent contributors to candobetter do not in any way validate claims that kangaroos do not compete with livestock for food much less identify ANY published research that does so. At best their references indicate a possible small level of competition.

I assume both provide diversionary arguments, to avoid the issue. I expect both have the capacity to recognise that use of absolute and definitive terms like ‘no’ and ‘not’( in the context of grazing competition) is far more persuasive than highly subjective terms such as ‘small’ or ‘some’, but despite knowing this and the lack of merit use the terms anyway.

In yet another departure from the truth Menkit writes, “Then this website shows that grazing pressure of kangaroos is only 1%.......” but the website in question shows nothing of the sort, the kangaroo grazing pressure of 1% that she mentions, in its true context represents the lowest end of an estimated range with the higher end an estimated 8% of a national average, I have no doubt Menkit is aware of this fact.

Whilst some may argue that the end justifies the means, I consider the desired ending is far more frequently compromised when the means employed is to flagrantly misrepresent fact.

I am interested in many topics discussed on candobetter.org but have no interest in lies or deceit. The mission statement of candobetter.org begins “To encourage ordinary people…….”, if this encouragement is to be instigated through deceit then evidently candobetter.org is not an appropriate place to seek truth.

In my opinion the time has never been more appropriate for purveyors of this ‘no competition’ crap to put up or shut up.

Kangaroos are original Australian animals. They have existed in Australia for at least 16 million years and have co-evolved and co-existed with their ecology and other species to live in perfect harmony the Australian context. "Search the Truth", please read the references provided. We should not have to justify the existence of kangaroos, our iconic native animals, or justify their food and water consumption! This is their ancient home, their rangelands are here, and they are perfect Aussie animals! Why deny them food? The problem is the enormous number of livestock, irrigation, over population of non-indigenous humans, our drought and then climate change.

Kangaroos are becoming more visible as food dries up and then they come into towns. It is a sad reflection on 220 years of European settlement that such well adjusted native, frugal consumers and soft-footed gentle animals, are suffering and being blamed for environmental damage and for eating pasture! They can't be denied food or a living, surely!

Maybe the question should be reversed - are livestock consuming pasture and drying up our waterways, trampling our native grasses and soils, causing deforestation and polluting rivers? I think the answer is obvious!

A rather unnecessary diversion into history this time, Vivienne.

I am no more in need of a history lesson than you are of a thick juicy steak.
However if you wish to digress into history then OK, please consider the following quote attributed to Abraham Lincoln;

“You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.”

You are currently in an uncomfortable position because evidently you cannot verify this no competition rubbish that you pedal here and in other forums.

Integrity and credibility is still THE ISSUE. If you had any measure of integrity at all you would make prompt specific reference, chapter and verse to the research you claim shows that kangaroos and livestock do not compete for food, or alternately acknowledge that the claim has no substance. To acknowledge you were wrong would at least demonstrate a degree of integrity on your part.

I reiterate that you may “have been duped or failed to check sources” in historical context “to err is human…..”

You request that I read the references? The fact is I had read the majority of them long before your provision, which really wasn't necessary or helpful as the facts remain unchanged.

It does seem apparent that you have a problem with comprehension as it is “Search for Truth” not “Search the Truth”. I fully appreciate that as a city dwelling vegan you may have a very limited understanding of dry sheep equivalents. Respectfully I suggest you reread (very carefully) my previous posts which will further reveal;

• I am NOT denying kangaroos an existence or food.
• I am not requesting or demanding their eradication.

Like it or not Vivienne history cannot be changed. Australia became part of the European Rangeland more than 200 years ago, a legacy we all have to live with. I share your obvious concern about overpopulation of this country with perhaps our most limited resources being soil and water, but I do not condone nor wish to be associated with those that falsify information or knowingly distribute inherently false information.

In response to your closing paragraph I respectfully suggest that the question you should be concentrating on at present is the title of my comment (10-01-10) What Research? When you have addressed that question in an appropriate manner and with the results in context you may have a far better grasp of reality. Do livestock consume pastures and water, trample native grasses and soils? Of course they do but so do kangaroos.

Livestock do not consciously set out with an agenda of deforestation; I have never seen a sheep driving a bulldozer or a cow wielding a chainsaw. This is a matter of management, the responsibility of another genus entirely.

Are livestock polluting rivers? Well yes, but so are birds, fish, humans, kangaroos; well, any dead animal that has the misfortune to fall in before or after death and any animal that leaves its faecal waste atop the ground, drops it from the air or directly in the water. Pollution is such a generalist word of wide ranging connotations and therefore highly subjective.

My, Search for Truth, we really are being a tad pedantic, aren't we? All the points that have been raised about how TINY the competition between kangaroo and livestock grazing is and all the DEMERITS of the livestock industry yet still you harp on and on.

Focussing on minutiae such as the use of words 'small' versus 'no' in no way minimises our very important contributions to the argument.

Vivienne and I both qualified that the research we quoted says kangaroos' grazing pressure is small - not non-existent. Why do you keep on about this when we have clarified this point? Shall I repeat myself? THE IMPACT OF KANGAROOS ON THE LIVESTOCK INDUSTRY IS MINIMAL.

Vivienne quoted research showing that even in drought the competition is 'small' and only in extreme conditions will kangaroos eat the food of sheep and cows and thereby pose a threat to them (and to the kangaroos detriment).

Irrespective of whether I quote 1% or 1-8% or 8%, the fact remains, kangaroos have small pressure on the entire industry. It's true that I quoted the lower end of kangaroo grazing pressure that doesn't make me deceitful. It's not like I made the figure up, at least I quoted a valid government website and valid scientific studies from CSIRO. It's also true that I said that there is no grazing competition between sheep and kangaroos, which I corrected as meaning no 'substantial' competition. Frankly I don't think this is a big deal.

You accuse me of being deceitful and without integrity (even though I quoted highly credible government sources) in a futile attempt to dismiss the issue which revolves around the potential extinction of our national icon. I can't help but wonder, why are you so protective of this industry? Why are you making a mountain out of a molehill?

The far more important issues such as "why are we experiencing drought - could it be somehow related to the livestock industry, thanks to deforestation, desertification, excess water use, soil erosion and so on?" - are lost in the argument.

Also lost in the argument is the far bigger unanswered question of 'WHO IS THE REAL PEST? MAN, SHEEP, COW OR KANGAROO? Who has done the most damage to the land in the last 200 years?

So what is the big deal 'Search for Truth' who appears to be so intent on undermining our arguments? Is this a diversionary tactic and are you really employed by the kangaroo industry (hence the secrecy of your real name - so much for truth and integrity!)? It certainly doesn't look like you are any kind of friend of the kangaroos.

I may well be a tad pedantic or even radically so, I care not how you view it, the frame of reference is entirely subjective and entirely irrelevant to the issue of my initial comment (10-01-10)

For Menkit’s benefit I will clarify that I am not employed by the kangaroo industry and would not want to be associated with it in any way and I am certainly not defending it or those that promote it. Also I have no intimate relationship with any particular kangaroo I consider the interests of the kangaroo is best served by preserving them as WILDlife not as pets, zoo exhibits or bottle fed orphans, etc.

Label me pedantic if you like, it is your prerogative. I expected this would be thrown in sooner or later as it is quite a commonly used tactic by persons without sound argument to launch attacks upon the messenger. This is but one reason why I choose to use a nom de plume for my posts hoping that the focus remains more upon the merits of the argument I present rather than any aspects of the messenger.

Menkit considers her contributions “very important”, which they might be if they weren't containing so many flawed arguments, flaws which I consider not to be matters of minutiae nor pedantry but flaws of significant proportion.

I did not raise the issue of honesty and integrity lightly. I have raised this issue firstly because I do not like to see the strenuous credible efforts of honest and sincere people undermined by thoughtless ill considered actions and diatribe of reckless minorities(or majorities, as the case maybe), and secondly because I have no desire to be associated (nor labelled guilty by) with lies deceit or purveyors thereof.

I have been extremely careful not to enter a comparative slanging match pitching research I find against research others put forth as I consider such argument rarely solves anything. Menkit says “It's not like I made the figure up, at least I quoted a valid government website and valid scientific studies from CSIRO.” If I applied Menkit’s logic I could say that ‘CSIRO studies clearly show that Kangaroos exert a grazing pressure of 40%.’ (Source
Kangaroos: Fact And Fiction
), then if I went to Seasonal Changes in Diet Preferences of Free-Ranging Red Kangaroos, Euros and Sheep in Western New South Wales the competition issue becomes even more confusing. I do not subscribe to the notion that just because it is written it must be true. I have no notion of whether the research of Dr Freudenberger is credible, valid or otherwise but the summary appears on a CSIRO website. Now all I need do is sit and wait for Menkit or some other individual with a chip on their shoulder to attempt to discredit Dr Freudenberger's research if they can provide a valid legitimate criticism or argument then by all means bring it on healthy relevant debate is often the way to the best most appropriate outcome, but if ad hominem diatribe is the best you have please do us all a favour and consign it directly to the recycle bin or do the planet a favour and don’t dredge it up in the first place.

Please do us all a favour Menkit before you run off at the mouth (or the keyboard, please excuse my humble pedantricities) again, please consider the analogy of the molehill you accuse me of exploiting in the context of a potential melanoma of potentially lethal consequence and consider whether small is identical to non existent.

At this point I could embark upon the proverbial rotten apple in the barrel or the lying with dogs and picking up fleas analogy but I won’t.

I have no intention of undermining arguments that have firm and accurate foundations because doing so would be an exercise in futility which I have no time for.

Menkit attacks my anonymity and casts aspersions on my integrity because I choose a nom de plume, please tell us all, is Menkit your real name (the one your parents bestowed upon you) or is it one you have chosen to use later in life for some reason? Is the name used by the messenger a legitimate reason to ignore the merit of an argument?

I consider highly selective reporting is extremely deceitful especially in the context of your attempted 1%/8% ruse as your prior posts on the internet indicate your full awareness of the 8% estimation and it’s relevance. If the deceitful cap fits, Menkit, by all means wear it; with pride, if your conscience allows, I care not but the measure of your integrity will be measured and judged by the merits of your actions and posts from this point forth not just by me but by all who read your comments. In addition to the ‘deceitful’ head covering another style which may well fit you could include the propagandist variety. My Oxford Dictionary defines propaganda as “an organised programme of publicity, SELECTED INFORMATION, etc., used to propagate a doctrine, practice, etc.” the terms Propaganda and Myth are frequently and often very carelessly (or perhaps very selectively) tossed around by both proponents of Kangaroo culls and those against, this then raises the proverbial analogy of pots and kettles but I would rather not go there.

Finally Menkit you accuse me of that most unfavourable act to “harp on and on.” Perhaps the most affective hat you could choose to ward off those potentially ugly damaging, even lethal, molehill melanomas would be an extremely broad brimmed style of the hypocrite genre, I am all but sure you will find at least one hat (or cap, curse my pedanticy) in your size. On Jan 10th I raised but a single issue of truthful reporting of “alleged” research showing a single and particular issue. Your response was not to clearly identify the alleged research (which I suspect you will never be able to do) and let it be; no, your response was to climb aboard your soapbox and seize upon an opportunity to express (yet again) your viewpoint on issues of kangaroo culling, “……the commercial kangaroo industry, government and farmers……”, “….drought, bushfires, flooding, habitat loss, illegal killing, roadkill and so on…..” none of which did I mention nor are even remotely relevant as to whether kangaroos and domestic livestock share a food source or whether there is any credible published research in existence which demonstrates this claim.

I was of the understanding that candobetter.org was an opinion forum that welcomed meritorious comment (even though some views expressed may conflict), that supported free speech and democracy, supported activism to bring about democratic change, hopefully for the better of all. But I will not accede to accepting or being associated with blatantly false propaganda or deliberately deceitful efforts regardless of who presents it and subsequently have my reputation tarnished by association with those that engage in such, yet another reason which I consider valid for use of a nom de plume.

Re. that big unanswered question, the real pest is the humans undoubtedly, that is how and why changes must be sought.

If 'Search for Truth' (comment above) is genuine, then...if Australian graziers think their greatest profit threats are not wool prices, not reliable water, not reliable feed, not interests rates or the Aussie dollar, but kangaroos competing with their livestock for grass, then where is the evidence?

Is wildlife apartheid the only option to protect wildlife?

If Australian graziers want to separate livestock from kangaroos, well we should work out how much land and where all Australian kangaroos need to sustain original pre-1788 numbers, to respect ecology. A good start would be to federally assign all state forests and Crown Land to the National Park estate, so Australia's rural tenure becomes either National Park or private freehold.

If private rural lands cannot be maintained to a healthy standard (no erosion, no salinity, no runoff, topsoil removal), then a private rural landholder must show cause to keep it.

Then graziers can use the land that is left for primary production and fence the kangaroos out (taller fences). Rebates for DEH approved wildlife fencing should be provided by the federal government, because the grazier would effectively be doing part of the Feds job of preserving wildlife.

Tiger Quoll
Snowy River 3885
Australia

I assure you Tigerquoll, I am genuine but beware Menkit evidently despises pseudonyms and evidently people who use them. So Beware. You maybe be targeted and headed for the endangered species list yourself.

For the record I am not suggesting, nor advocating the apartheid you mention.

Take care.

The keystroke efforts put to this website are only to encourage respect for Australia's nature and society and challenge the harm to either or both.

No point targeting any author; they come and go. Participating in Australia's debate is valuable to the future of Australia.

I move on. No worries.

Tiger Quoll
Snowy River 3885
Australia

Your last two posts set a fine example of concise direct and relevant comment.

An absolute pleasure to read and respond to, when not laced with reams of irrelevant rhetoric, repetition and personal attacks.

No less effective in getting your point across in two short posts you have earned my respect and demanded nothing from me well done.

I have to admit, I have not been able to entirely work out where right or wrong may lie in the argument between, "Search for Truth" on the one hand and Vivienne, Menkit and Tigerquoll on the other.

I do think it is important that we always argue the facts and be able to cite sources when discussing such contentious issues. (Of course, this need not apply to common knowledge, such as the obvious fact that Brisbane's roads are badly congested these days, thanks to Rudd's, Howard's Keating's Hawke's Beattie's and Bligh's irresponsible promotion of population growth.)

Sometimes, some of the facts may not be entirely convenient to the case we are trying to put. Examples include:

  • The seemingly very cold winters in parts of Europe if you accept the theory of anthropogenic global warming (AGW) as I do; or
  • The blistering hot summer faced in Australia just now, if you dispute AGW.

Nevertheless, I think in an honest debate between people of good will on all sides, it is important that all sides acknowledge all the facts. In the longer term, basing even a worthy cause on false arguments will most likely prove to be counterproductive.

In my experience, some of us do occasionally fall short of that ideal practice in the course of arguing to save our environment and endangered wildlife, or arguing, in general against injustice. I know that I, myself, have been guilty of that in the past. If that has happened here -- and I am not necessarily conceding that anyone here has done that -- we should, by all means point that out, but we should also not be too judgemental about people who may have transgressed that principle out of the best of intentions.

Sociology teaches you to be very vigilant about the collection of statistics, what they purport to measure and whether they are reproducible. I think that there is little doubt that the Government statistics at the level of all states and at Federal level are extremely unreliable. I draw peoples attention again to the reports from the Auditors General in West Australia, Victoria and Tasmania, the letter from the Auditor General's office in the ACT and invite you to draw your own conclusions about any decisions our governments make which affect wildlife welfare and the immediate demands of businesses hunting wildlife. I would suggest that the government statistics, such as they are, are only of use as a kind of Potemkin scientific system to veil what is really going on, which seems to be a sort of bumbling scramble for a few dollars by groups of scientists, farmers, and displaced persons for immediate survival. I find it hard to judge those people who probably have few alternatives, day to day, including some of the scientists. It's a dog eat dog world in Australia more and more. However, someone has to get in there and represent the wildlife. Someone also has to get in there and represent scientists and rural people who are being pushed out of business and finding it almost impossible to survive international 'competition' between unequal partners and the crocodilian corporate takeover of our land and government.

Oddly, one of the most interesting studies, albeit lacking in genetic data on immigration between populations, was Don Fletcher's doctoral thesis, which seems entirely to contradict his official government position on kangaroo numbers. See "ACT Roo killings: who profits ...". This article cites Fletcher on very high densities of kangaroos - around 5 per ha - having very little impact on pastures. I would also like to say that there is a constantly recurring assertion in the 'literature' to a 1 kangaroo per ha = good population density, which hark vaguely back to Graeme Coulson's work, but correspondence with Coulson elicited a statement to the effect that he had never said that 1 kangaroo per ha was any particular yardstick.

I found the report and conclusions of Maxine Cooper, (in the same article) Commissioner for Sustainability in the ACT of a particularly poor standard of fairness and science. It was odd how much they disclosed of the threat posed by developers on ACT grasslands, whilst persisting in attributing destruction of grasslands to kangaroos. Outstanding in its hopeless logic was the legitimisation of numbers of car collisions with kangaroos in the ACT with total numbers of kangaroos. For me it is reports like this that show quite clearly that we are neither a democracy nor a scientifically informed government and that we are being expected to swallow flimsy excuses so that a few people in our society may pursue wealth with increasing brutality and callousness.

My own eyes have shown me that there is evidence to say that, at least in Queensland, a state where kangaroo shooting is carried out at an industrial level, that the grey kangaroos are becoming a race of dwarfs compared to those not hunted along parts of the Victorian coast. I find this shocking in the extreme. I have received confirmation of shared concerns from one scientist associated with the FATE program and have read some literature on the subject to support my concerns.

Sheila Newman, population sociologist

Sobering comment Sheila. I know a woman who grew up shooting kangaroos as a kid in Narrabri, NSW (if I recall correctly?) and she told me that the last time she went back she noticed that fully grown kangaroos were only knee-high.

Tragic ... what on earth are we doing to our national icon and WHEN WHEN WHEN are we going to wake up???

Is there a glimmer of dissent within the FATE project from those that wish to remain anonymous? It does highlight your point regarding scientists comprimising their own views in the name of funding. Thanks Sheila, you made my day!