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Towards zero: Kangaroos and the ACT

Life on land

“When we see people working so hard to rescue and rehabilitate injured wildlife in Australia, most using their own finances to do so, that makes the involvement of governments in the mass killing of wildlife even more heinous”. Peter Hylands

June 9, 2024

The Jerrabomberra East Grasslands Nature Reserve was not a target in the ACT’s 2024 Kangaroo kill. Evidence now suggests that there are very few Kangaroos in the reserve.

“The 2024 program targets removing 1336 Kangaroos across seven priority reserves. They will be closed from 9 June to 1 August between 6 pm and 6 am each week. However, they will remain open over the weekends from Friday morning to Sunday evening to allow the community to access the reserves”. ACT Government
“Queanbeyan Nature Reserve is characterised by low, undulating terrain with open grasslands and areas of open woodland. You can enjoy activities such as walking, birdwatching and nature-study in the larger of its two sections, bounded by Lanyon Drive, Hoover Road and the Queanbeyan-Michelago tourist railway line. The nearby smaller section is only 2 hectares”. NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS)

The ACT’s budget documents from 2004-2005 set out plans to expand the Canberra Parks systems.

“The 2004-05 Budget contains $50,000 in funding to establish two new grassland reserves in the Jerrabomberra Valley. The new reserves, of about 200 hectares each, will be located on the west and east sides of the Monaro Highway”.

As it turned out this was very bad news for Canberra’s Kangaroos.

The Jerrabomberra East Grasslands Nature Reserve and the Queanbeyan Nature Reserve are separated by a railway line. The Kangaroos in the Jerrabomberra reserve have been removed during the annual killing of Kangaroos (and Wallabies with permits). The Queanbeyan Nature Reserve has retained its Kangaroo population.

Professor Steve Garlick made the following observations about the two adjoining nature reserves.

“A few weeks back I met a NPWS ranger doing monitoring work on the Queanbeyan Nature Reserve. This reserve is immediately adjacent to the Jerrabomberra East Grasslands Nature Reserve in the ACT where there has been regular killing of Kangaroos. I saw probably 50 Kangaroos on the Queanbeyan side and virtually none on the ACT side.
The ACT’s Jerrabomberra East Grasslands Nature Reserve has the same  characteristics as the Queanbeyan Nature Reserve. Only a railway line divides the two reserves. In Queanbeyan they do not shoot Kangaroos and the Kangaroos live harmoniously with other small animals like the legless lizard. This is also the opinion of the NPWS ranger monitoring the site. The grass is tall on both reserves”.

The question all Canberrans need to ask the ACT Government is, given the extensive nature of Kangaroo killing in the ACT nature park systems what evidence is there of the recovery of the species they claim were negatively impacted by the grazing of Kangaroos in the ACT and what exactly do the numbers show?

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