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Wake up Australia! - Kangaroos fast disappearing; Gov complicit

This data analysis and new findings are just out. Please check out the brilliant article which accompanies the video. The news is truly shocking and we cannot wait for governments to do anything because so far they have obfuscated the data or used it incompetently. There are reasons to believe that various State departments may actually want to get rid of kangaroos.

Like the Tas Devil, Kangaroos, once common, are suddenly vulnerable.

Within 12 years a common species, the Tasmanian Devil, has become so severely endangered that there are captive breeding programs in its own territory. Devils have developed a communicable cancer because their genetic density is so incredibly low and it is wiping them out all along the Western part of Tasmania.

The same thing could easily happen to the isolated and fragmented populations of kangaroos of which we see remnants fending off starvation along roadsides. Or the remaining isolated populations could simply fail to breed successfully enough to survive.

Please sign the petition but please send this article on in Australia and overseas. The whole community needs to place pressure on Australian politicians everywhere. Go and watch the video for a truly enlightening five minutes. It is not too gruesome; it is very informative.

http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/kangaroo-extinction.html

Murray Darling Report on Kangaroo density

After investigating the state government data pertaining to kangaroo densities across the Kangaroo Management Zones, it has been found that kangaroos are now 'quasi extinct' across most of NSW, South Australia and Queensland. 'Quasi extinction' refers to population densities of less than five kangaroos per square kilometre and has been defined by the Murray Darling Report as 'the nominal value of kangaroo densities taken to be the effective loss of the species.'

The Murray Darling Report is a document published by the Murray Darling Commission, written by government and independent scientists and titled 'Kangaroo Options in the Murray Darling Basin.' The report says, 'Strategies that produce average densities of less than five kangaroos per square kilometre would result in minimum densities of less than two kangaroos per square kilometre and could be considered a threat to species conservation.'

Further interpretation of state government data from New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia shows kangaroo densities that are now less than two kangaroos per square kilometre across more than 50% of these states. The Murray Darling Report states, 'Critical minimum densities of less than two kangaroos per square kilometre would generally be considered at risk of extinction.'

In regard to the future of the kangaroo industry, the Murray Darling Report said, 'Reduction of kangaroo densities to less than five per square kilometre over large areas would result in the demise of the kangaroo industry.'

Great decline in size of kangaroos

Government statistics also show that the average weight of kangaroos killed in South Australia and Queensland is only 21 kilograms i.e. juveniles aged about two years, the males of whom are not even at reproductive age and females, most barely at breeding age. In South Australia 50% of kangaroos killed are females in half the state which by itself puts kangaroos at risk of extinction.

With one third of Australian native mammals having been driven to extinction since the first settlers arrived just over 200 years ago, we cannot afford to imperil the existence of kangaroos who are the world's second most recognised tourist symbol. An $85 billion tourist industry is not worth sacrificing for a $200 million kangaroo industry. Kangaroos are worth far more alive than dead. Blinded by short-term profits, certain industries could be responsible for the extinction of our kangaroos and in fact that is already starting to happen.

It is imperative that we implement a moratorium on commercial and non-commercial killing of kangaroos immediately for the sake of our country, our tourist industry, our economy, our environment, our reputation, and most importantly, our world-famous icon.

For more information go to http://www.stopkangarookilling.org http://www.australiansocietyforkangaroos.com or watch video at http://www.animal-lib.org.au/campaigns/kangaroo-campaign.htm

Petition:

To the Honourable President and members of the Senate in Parliament assembled:

The petition of the undersigned shows we have grave fears for the future existence of kangaroos in New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia, and the fact that these state governments have already set commercial kill quotas at 12-20% of the population for the next four years.

According to scientific predictions, this could result in large-scale and irreversible extinctions of Red Kangaroos, Eastern and Western Grey Kangaroos, Wallaroos and Euros in the wild within a matter of a few years.

Considering this and other factors weighing against kangaroos' survival such as ongoing drought, climate change and large-scale habitat destruction, your urgent attention to the imminent extinction of our national icon is now needed.

Kangaroos should not be equated with herded production animals. They are free-living wild animals, many with young in pouch or at foot, highly susceptible to stress. As a result, current commercial kangaroo killing practice is commensurate with causing extreme cruelty to adults and infants, the outcome of which is to bring great shame on Australia as a society. It is estimated that three million joeys have died inhumanely as a result of this cruelty over the last 10 years.

Your petitioners ask that the Senate impose an moratorium on the commercial and non-commercial slaughter of Red Kangaroos, Grey Kangaroos, Wallaroos and Euros in New South Wales, Queensland, and South Australia.

We ask that this remain in place until such time as a full independent enquiry is carried out determining the extinction risk to kangaroo populations in light of new information that has come to the public's attention and the results of such inquiry be presented to Parliament.

PETITION: http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/kangaroo-extinction.html

See also: Open letter to Gavin Jennings regarding the stranded kangaroos at Mill Park and South Morang of 24 Oct 08

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