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2024: Commercial exploitation of Kangaroos, summary table and comparisons

Life on land

“The 2024 population estimates and quotas for commercially exploited Kangaroo species on mainland Australia are slightly lower than in 2023. Our estimates show that for 2023, 27 per cent of the quota will be met”. Peter Hylands

Peter and Andrea Hylands

February 28, 2024

This analysis updates the 2022 numbers, estimates the outcome for 2023 and provides comparisons for 2020 to 2024. This table should be used with the 2024 state based analysis of the commercial exploitation of Kangaroos available in the Earth section of the Nature Knowledge Channel.

Note: Excludes Tasmania / Excludes joeys / Estimates *

Note: Percentage of actual take increases mainly because the quota is lower in a given year. For example, the 2021 quota for Australia was 1,524,085 lower than the quota in 2020. What was particularly shocking was that for the quota alone, the reduction in the quota between those years was higher than the actual annual take in each year.

The graph below tells a very clear story. Despite the addition of Victoria as 7 new commercial shooting zones at the end of 2019, despite commercial shooting zone expansions in New South Wales creeping ever eastwards, despite zone expansions in South Australia, despite adding new Macropod species to the commercial list, despite killing more and more females (and their unaccounted for joeys), despite commercial shooting creeping into public land, the actual commercial take against quota still remains at historically low levels.

The historic data very clearly shows that Kangaroo populations across Australia began to collapse in the early part of this century, in mid 1990 the actual commercial take was around 3.3 million animals, now it is down to around 1.3 million, while commercial quotas have remained at similar levels over time (that is since the late 1980s, quotas were lower before that).

(NOTE: Actual take against quota 1994 – 3,293,227 / 1995 –3,260,448 / 1996 – 3,101,123).

Despite claims from the state governments and shooters engaged in this wildlife trade, the reason for the low take against quota is simply because population estimates are hyper-inflated and the Kangaroos they are targeting do not exist. This has never been a demand side issue. Ask yourself this question, if it was the case that Kangaroo carcasses were getting harder to sell (most for pet food), why the constant demand for zone expansions and all the other add ons detailed above, and why now try to enter public lands to take the Kangaroos that remain in State and National Parks, Ramsar sites and other public places for commercial gain? (Victoria and South Australia have agreed to allow commercial Kangaroo shooting on public land).

Australia:  Commercial quota and actual take against quota

Australia:  Commercial quota and actual take against quota
Note: Excludes Tasmania/excludes joeys.
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