Monday, August 16, 2010

Wildlife Bytes 10/8/10

Fraser Island Dingoes

Save the Fraser Island Dingoes organisation is having a Dingo Charity dinner at Hervey Bay on the 4th September, at the Hervey Bay RSL Function room. For Reservations phone 41241979, great guest artists, including Keri McInerney, Stevie T, Riverhead with special guest Mark Nuske, k'gari performers and more! Tickets are $50 each or $90 for a couple.

The Queensland Sunday Mail has driven another nail into the coffin of the Fraser Island dingoes. In an poorly written and researched article in the Mail last Sunday, John Sinclair was quoted as saying that the people wanting protection for the Fraser Island dingoes, were peddling a campaign of misinformation by showing pictures of starving dingoes. He claimed in the article that starving dingoes are a "natural" occurance, and they die off so other dingoes can be well fed! It's not the first time Sinclair has attacked efforts by others to protect the remaining dingoes from the Queensland State Government. John Sinclair fought really hard with his own money and time against the Jo Bielke Peterson government to protect Fraser Island, as many others have done on other issues around Australia. Now the dingoes and other wildlife habituated on the Island appear to be sacrificed to the great God of Tourism. The recent Queensland government "independant" review into the Fraser Island Dingo Management Plan found the Plan was working fine...of course the Review would say that, the Review was wholly run by the State government consultants and bureaucrats who designed and administer the current Dingo Plan. We've said it before and we say it again, the Fraser Island Dingo Managment Plan is the greatest wildlife management blunder ever committed in Queensland. Its difficult to understand why Sinclair would support this cruelty.* WPAA

Morriset Kangaroo Update

As more comes out about developments at Morriset Hospital it appears that many of the criminally insane have already been moved out into special units in prisons. Apparently there are only 130 patients still on the site. And the Mental Hospital only occupies a small fraction of the whole 1200ha/3000 acres. We also understand that discussions between the Labor Right NSW State Government and developers has taken place. Like most State governments the NSW State Gov'ernment is developer-corrupt. It looks like the St Mary's ADI housing development disaster will happen all over again at Newcastle. More info about the Morriset kangaroos below..........*WPAA


The Northern Territory Government says it is aiming to remove another 60,000 feral camels from Central Australia by next July. Environment Minister Karl Hampton says 2,000 of the estimated 300,000 camels in the Territory have been culled since June through aerial shooting. The continued action will include aerial culling, mustering and slaughtering. "Without immediate action, their numbers will double within a decade," he said. "As well as destroying native vegetation and wetlands, feral camels cause millions of dollars of damage to pastoral land and infrastructure on remote communities while being a heavy emitter of greenhouse gases. "The animals also damage Aboriginal sacred sites and bush tucker resources." *ABC


Urgent action needs to be taken to address problem cockatoos keeping hospital patients awake and annoying people at Atherton. Flocks of sulphur-crested cockatoos, numbering in the thousands, have been causing havoc along Cook St. Tablelands Regional Council has applied to the Environmental Protection Agency to use a scare gun to disperse the birds, but Cr Len Curtis said the process had to move faster. *Cairns Post

Banded Plovers

There are fears a critical breeding ground for a vulnerable bird species found only in Australia could be threatened if open-slather mining is allowed on Lake Torrens. In the past 70 years there have been only 10 recorded breeding events of the wading bird the banded stilt - the latest two months ago when an estimated 150,000 birds descended on the lake in SA's Far North. But there are now concerns that this already threatened bird could have its important habitat put at risk if plans to plunder minerals from the lake's bed get into full gear. The State Government last month approved a mining exploration licence for Straits Resources and Argonaut Resources to drill on the lake bed for minerals including copper and gold. Australasian Waders Studies Group spokesman Clive Minton said mining on the lake bed would be "criminal" as the banded stilt only breeds in salt lakes which have been inundated with fresh water causing dormant brine shrimp eggs to hatch, providing a feeding bonanza for the young. The Aboriginal Kokatha Mula Nations Land Council chairman Andrew Starkey said his people had a number of sites registered in the area that would be threatened by the mining. "Our concern is the precedent this will set for the rest of the lakes," he said. * Adelaide Now

Meanwhile, another local Aboriginal group is outraged the state Aboriginal Affairs Minister has allowed a mining company to explore part of Lake Torrens in the South Australian outback. The chairman of the Adnyamathanha Traditional Lands Association, Vince Coulthard, says the Minister has authorised the company to damage, disturb or interfere with Aboriginal sites or human remains. He says Lake Torrens is a very significant place for various groups and Minister Grace Portolesi should retract her permission. "I think it's sad for a Minister who's supposed to be protecting our sites to give the authority or use their authority to destroy the very things she's supposed to be protecting," he said. Ms Portolesi said she gave limited authorisation for seven drill holes, tracks to the holes and a helicopter landing area. She says the area was explored in the 1970s and that influenced her decision. Ms Portolesi said there was no evidence of human remains in the Lake Torrens exploration area. "If physical material is found, I'm satisfied that there are adequate protections, guidelines in place to ensure that that material, whatever that might be, will be dealt with in the most culturally-appropriate way and with Aboriginal peoples," she said. *ABC


IT is the Great Sydney Harbour barramundi mystery - and well-meaning but misguided Buddhists practising an ancient good luck ritual are responsible. From the Parramatta River to Darling Harbour, the Spit Bridge to Manly, bemused anglers have found barramundi - the tropical fish whose nearest natural habitat is central Queensland - swimming lethargically on the surface. Last weekend, two were scooped up in Darling Harbour by fishermen. Two weekends before, Mario Benedict was chasing bream near Clarkes Point when he spotted a strange fish. "It was swimming really slowly and I thought it was a leatherjacket but when we went over in the boat and I scooped it out with our landing net I knew straight away it was a barra," the 27-year-old from Concord said yesterday. Barramundi were also discovered in February and March at Manly, the Spit Bridge, Rose Bay and Darling Harbour. It was first believed the fish had been released into the Harbour by radical animal rights activists or a fishkeeper whose pets had outgrown their tanks. But all the barramundi have been the size of fish bred in fish farms for the restaurant market. State Fisheries pointed the finger at Buddhists carrying out an ancient ritual called Tsethar - and it has condemned the fish to a slow death because the Harbour waters are too cold. Tsethar involves saving the lives of "animals that are doomed to be killed". * Daily Telegraph

US Pet Snake Imports....Far too late, but better late than Never!

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) approved new rules in late June that prohibit Burmese pythons and other so-called “reptiles of concern” from being owned as pets. Under the new rules, these reptiles of concern, which include the Burmese and Indian python, reticulated python, green anaconda, African rock python (north and south), amethystine python (including the scrub python) and Nile monitor lizard, have been reclassified as nonnative conditional species. As a result, Florida residents will not be able to acquire these animals as pets. However, those who currently hold a reptile of concern license will be allowed to keep the pet until the end of its life. Dealers, breeders, exhibitors and researchers are permitted to possess conditional snakes and lizards for sale outside of Florida. Anyone in possession of a conditional snake or lizard may surrender the animal at any time to a licensed dealer. The commission also approved further security measures for commercial reptile dealers in how they transport snakes and lizards in Florida. New rules require conditional species be held indoors or, if outdoors, in an enclosure that has a fixed, secure roof. All of these animals also must be micro-chipped, unless they are to be exported out of the state within 180 days. These rules changes implement Senate Bill 318, which was signed into law by Florida Governor Charlie Crist in early June. * PetProductNews

Polar Bears

Polar bears, the icon of the Arctic, are under threat from the twin challenges of climate change and chemicals that are not breaking down in the region's cold waters. Research published in the journal Science of The Total Environment shows the retreat of sea-ice in the Arctic could increase the exposure of species such as polar bears to persistent organic pollutants, which include flame-retardants and substances used to harden plastics. Scientists believe the pollutants, locked in the polar ice for decades, could be released into the ocean as the ice melts due to climate change. It is estimated annual summer sea-ice cover in the Arctic is now up to a third less than it was thirty years ago. *ABC read more .....

Wild White Wallaby

The Douglas Daly Tourist Park (NT) has a regular visitor turning up at dusk each night - an albino wallaby named "Snowball". New proprietors of the park, Brad and Kathy Hogan, said the pure white marsupial came every night at six o'clock to mingle with his wallaby friends. "Park patrons line up to take photos. "He looks like a big piece of paper so he is very easy to spot," Mr Hogan told the Northern Territory News. He said Snowball's appearances had given the park some positive exposure following the concern surrounding the unprecedented capture of two saltwater crocodiles near the park in the past month. The picture above, taken by tourist Joanna McCarrick of Baltimore, USA, shows Snowball grabbing a bite to eat on the park's helicopter landing ground. *NT news


Some birds radically change their diets just before their winter migrations, gorging themselves on antioxidant-rich berries to prepare for their long journeys, researchers have found. "[The] results support the hypothesis that some migratory birds may actively select deeply-pigmented fruits as a signal for meals that are rich in antioxidants," researcher Navindra Seeram of the University of Rhode Island said. "These disease-fighting antioxidants may help the birds combat stress and inflammation that they experience during long flights." "It has been known for some time, this phenomenon of birds switching to fruits in the fall," said study co-author Scott McWilliams, a bird researcher. The phenomenon is particularly striking because sparrows, thrushes, warblers and other birds with beaks highly specialized for eating insects suddenly begin using them to pick berries instead. A single bird can consume up to three times its weight in berries per day -- the equivalent of a human being consuming more than 300 pounds-worth of food. *NaturalNews Read more


Roadkill is driving some species towards extinction. Too few safe corridors for animals to find more food. Too many cars and trucks on many more roads through their habitats. How about a campaign to stop carelessness about road-kill? Read more ........

Crustaceans Rule!

Ever wondered what kinds of wildlife dominate the world’s seas and oceans? Now there’s an answer, at least in terms of the number of species in different categories. It’s not fish. It’s not mammals. It’s crustaceans! A mammoth Census of Marine Life has revealed that nearly one-fifth, or 19 percent, of all the marine species known to humans are crustaceans — crabs, lobsters, crayfish, shrimp, krill, barnacles and others far too numerous to mention here. The census didn’t count the actual numbers of animals beneath the waves — that would have been impossible — but it did count up the number of species in 25 marine areas. The aim is to set down a biodiversity baseline for future use. * Read more

Queensland Wildlife Rehabilitation Council Inc (QWRC) meeting.

As a follow-up to the meeting we held in May this year at Hamilton the Queensland Wildlife Rehabilitation Council Inc (QWRC) again invites all rehabbers from the South East corner of the State to join us for a Meeting of Minds to be held the RSPCA Fairfield facility, 301 Fairfield Road, Fairfield, 4103 (corner Fairfield and Venner Roads) on Sunday September 26th 2010 at 2.00pm. We aim to facilitate further discussions on issues you believe impact on your group or that could assist in better communications between groups or rehabilitators. We invite you to submit your suggested agenda items to us by mail or email to the addresses noted below. Please include your preferred return email or postal address if you wish a copy of the afternoon’s agenda sent to you. Although we would appreciate an RSVP by September 23rd please feel free to attend even if you have not been able to get back to us. Please share this invitation with any rehabber in your area who may not be on our mailing list. Don’t miss this opportunity for your views and ideas to be heard. We look forward to spending beneficial time with you at this gathering. * Queensland Wildlife Rehabilitation Council Inc (QWRC)

Flying Foxes

A petition urging government action on flying foxes in Charters Towers is to be presented to State Parliament next month. Dalrymple MP Shane Knuth, who will present the petition, said a decision by the Department of Environment and Resource Management to refuse permission for Charters Towers Regional Council to use helicopters to clear flying foxes from Lissner Park had been the final straw. "Before they used to use the excuse that we wanted to use lethal means to move the bats and now that we come up with a non-lethal way to move them, they still knock us back. It is a disgrace," he said. DERM wildlife management director Nick Rigby told council he was not satisfied that flying foxes would not be killed or injured while being mustered to another location by helicopter. Mr Knuth said this proved the government cared more for bats than it did for people. "I would like to see the environment minister come here and debate the bat problem any evening at 6pm when they are flying away to feed," he said. Resident Allan Henderson said people had been lining up to sign the petition. "Everyone in town wants them gone. No one can use that part of the park where they roost during the day. There's flying fox excrement all over the picnic tables. It's terrible. Lissner Park has become a bat reserve," he said. Mr Henderson said the people of Charters Towers wanted their park back. * Townsville Bulletin

Barbed Wire Fences

Environmental agencies are hoping the recent story of a squirrel glider trapped on a barbed wire fence will encourage landowners to use more wildlife-friendly fencing. The squirrel glider, dubbed Rebada, was trapped on a fence outside the Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority last month. She received several injuries when she became tangled in the fence before being rescued by GBCMA environmental water reserve officer Keith Ward and wildlife carer Katherine Lohse. Ms Lohse said it would be several weeks before Rebada was fit enough to be released into the wild. Making fences wildlife-friendly includes making them more visible, replacing the top strand of barbed wire with plain wire or covering it with polypipe, or planting trees to shorten the gliding distance between trees. Department of Sustainability senior biodiversity planning officer Rolf Weber said barbed wire was a common problem for wildlife and pointed to a 1996 study by Rodney van der Ree from Deakin University, who studied possums and gliders living in vegetation along roadsides and creek-lines in the Euroa area. `In a short, 12-month period he found a dozen gliders hooked up on his property, which is quite significant,'' Mr Weber said.

``With a membrane like the squirrel gliders have, there's just no way they can get themselves out _ once they're hooked, they're hooked. `There's quite a lot of other animals that can get caught up on barbed wire too. `These days, there's probably not all that much need for barbed wire fences _ they were originally used to stop livestock from leaning on fences and wrecking them, but with the high-tensile wire used in fences today, that doesn't happen anymore and the barbed wire isn't needed to discourage stock from leaning. ``Hopefully, after seeing this, a few landowners will think about the idea of using wildlife-friendly fences.'' For more information on making fences wildlife friendly, visit


Tasmania's Shame

More than one million wallabies and pademelons were killed in one year in Tasmania in a dramatic escalation of a shooting campaign to protect farms and forests. The figures, given to the Mercury yesterday, show that the toll has risen 20 times over six years, coinciding with a massive reduction in 1080 poison - a 94 per cent cut in a decade. Land managers, including farmers and forestry companies, have switched to shooting instead of 1080 after a long campaign by conservation and community groups to end the use of the controversial poison and the State Government has committed to eventually phasing it out. Australian Society for Kangaroos co-ordinator Nikki Sutterby said yesterday the shootings were absolutely devastating. "There are alternatives that have been looked at such as wallaby-proof fencing that seem not to be getting any consideration," she said. However, farmers strongly defend the culling and want to continue to use 1080. "The damage that browsing animals cause to farm crops in Tasmania would be unimaginable to people living in other states," said Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association chief executive Jan Davis.

The Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment, which issued the shooting figures, said it believed the annual takes were sustainable. There were populations of up to 10 million of both Bennett's wallabies and pademelons - both partly protected under Tasmanian legislation - based on annual spotlight surveys. The department figures for 2008-09 reveal that licensed shooters shot 447,579 Bennett's wallabies in mainland Tasmania. "In the same period 560,406 Tasmanian pademelons were reported as taken for crop protection purposes," the department said. The annual figures are based on returns provided by shooters issued with permits. The increased shooting toll coincides with a massive reduction in 1080 usage from 15kg in 1999-2000 to 969g in 2008-09. "The total use for 2009-10 until mid-May was 739 grams which is 11 per cent less than at the same time the previous year," the statement says.

The Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association called for continued access to 1080 and export permits for meat, skin and fur products. "We need to be able to utilise culled animals in a productive manner," Ms Davis said. "At present the Federal Government refuses to grant approval for such licences -- a position we believe is untenable." She called for Tasmanian farmers to be allowed to continue usage of 1080. "Recent research has shown that pasture loss within 100m of the bush edge can be as high as 63 per cent and the range of crop loss can be up to 100 per cent across new plantings," Ms Davis said. In 2004 the Mercury sought via the Freedom of Information Act figures on the numbers of wildlife shot. Figures from the Nature Conservation Branch showed that 15,225 brushtail possums and 30,226 Bennett's and red wallabies were shot in the 27 months from January 2002 to April 30, 2004.

Figures for brushtail possums shot in 2008-09 will be released today. The 1080 usage in 2002-03 was 10kg. A department report in 2003 said the reduction of 1080 use was "attributed to the implementation by both Forestry Tasmania and private forestry companies of more intensive shooting programs". Forestry giant Gunns Ltd announced on June 18 it would immediately stop using 1080. "There is no doubt that 1080 has been controversial in the past and this decision is another significant move by Gunns demonstrating its social responsibility," chief executive Greg L'Estrange said. Over the past four years a $4 million research program has investigated alternatives to 1080. "It has highlighted that there are no single, simple solutions to managing the impacts on these abundant species of wildlife but a range of options needs to be available," the statement said. *Australian

1080 in Tasmania

Forest services contractor Rob McLelland says the poison 1080 could be a more humane method of controlling wildlife than shooting. Mr McLelland's firm, Woodstock Forestry Services, previously used 1080 but now all major forestry companies, including Gunns Limited, have stopped using it. He now employs shooters, a significantly more labour-intensive method, to control wildlife browsing. In 2008-09, more than one million Bennetts wallabies and pademelons were shot by farmers and forestry firms. The increase in shooting was attributed to a decrease in the use of 1080. Mr McLelland employed two people when using 1080 but had to hire 16 full-time shooters after 1080 began to be phased out.

He said he believed there was a lot of hype surrounding 1080. ``I think it was potentially more humane than shooting because in about 10 per cent of cases a second shot would be required,'' he said. ``I looked into 1080 and how it works on mammals and basically they ran out of energy and went to lie down and go to sleep. If it was used properly, it was a very humane way of control. ``The science is different to what people believe they saw the word poison and thought `bad' and `painful death'.'' Mr McLelland said it was a mistake spread by the green movement that wallabies died in waterways after ingesting 1080. With fewer plantations after the collapse of managed investment schemes, his company is looking after 30 coupes this year compared with as many as 200 in previous years.

``We are down to two shooters because the plantations have fallen from about 25,000ha a year to 5000ha this year,'' Mr McLelland said. Shooters worked any time from dusk to dawn to cull wallabies in plantations established during the winter, he said. The amount of time for each coupe depended on its location, with visits varying from twice a week to once a month. The wallabies were lured into the open with maize. Mr McLelland said the Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association's idea of exporting or processing wallaby meat was impractical in the remote and steep coupes. The TFGA has said farmers needed a full suite of management tools, including 1080. * Mercury

Save the Tassie Wallabies

Please see media release and stories below about what it happening to the wallies in Tassie. if you have time and want to do something, you can write to:

Minister for Environment
David OByrne
Ph: 6233 8892
Fax: 6233 7663

David Bartlett
Ph: 6233 3464
fax: 6234 1572'

Tasmanian Greens
(03) 6233 8300
(03) 6223 1406

Letter to the Mercury (keep letters less than 300 words.
Click on letter to the editor

Letter to Examiner

Australian Society for Kangaroos, 'Representing the victim of the world's largest wildlife massacre' Media Release Tasmania's wildlife annihilation

Every year Tasmanian's are killing around one million wallabies despite published research against it. According to the Tasmanian State of the Environment Report 2009, around one million wallabies and their joeys are killed annually by farmers and plantation owners in Tasmania, with 1.4 million killed between 2006 and 2007 alone. This is despite research published in a government newsletter proving the success of non lethal alternatives such as chemical deterrents and wallaby proof fencing.

The government newsletter “Research into the Alternatives to 1080”, also refers to research which shows shooting is an ineffective strategy for controlling wallabies, and that even if 90% of the population in an area is killed, the remaining 10% can cause the same damage. A trial reported in the newsletter also showed that there was no difference in the number of animals observed at sites where shooting was used, compared to those where there no shooting occurred. Another survey revealed that 50% of participants regularly shot wallabies even when there was 'not much' damage being done.

Tom Locke lives in Tasmania and his property adjoins a timber plantation. His plans for a peaceful life in the bush has become a nightmare as he is regularly confronted with dead and injured wallabies and joeys shot by his neighbour. For Tom's full account and photos of the wallabies he's found, go to his website at:

“With proven economical non lethal alternatives available, and the fact that shooting has been proven to be ineffective, why is the Tasmanian government continuing to allow land owners to slaughter wallabies in these incredible numbers?”, said Nikki Sutterby, CoOrdinator, Australian Society for Kangaroos.

You can view the government data at: State of Environment Report 2009
Research into Alternatives

Morriset Kangaroos Again

Emma Vrshkovski, 22, is $1000 short when she counts her blessings after a head-on collision with a kangaroo at the busy Station Street and Fishery Point Road junction at Bonnells Bay on Friday.
The Trinity Point resident was uninjured, but $1000 is the cost of the excess insurance she will have to pay to have her car repaired. Now Ms Vrshkovski and her family are calling for an inquiry into escalating kangaroo numbers which they say are roaming the Morisset peninsula's urban streets. "I was driving to work and this big kangaroo just leaped out of nowhere. Other drivers at the scene said I didn't have a hope of avoiding it," Ms Vrshkovski said. "I was extremely lucky not to be seriously injured. Just two weeks ago I was a passenger in my friend's car going to the gym on the same road and it happened to her too. I am now hearing of it happening to other residents and many of them it seems make insurance claims where they can, but usually don't bother to report it."

Her insurance company will likely cover the cost of Ms Vrshkovski's repair bill, expected to be around $4000, but she says she is up for $1000 excess. "That's a lot of money and who do I blame, the kangaroo? Plus my insurance on my Mazda 3 will now be more expensive. This is a country dirt road but a suburban street." Ms Vrshkovski's mother Susan Foster, also a Trinity Point resident, is now campaigning for a review of kangaroo population control. "The council told me National Parks and Wildlife are responsible and they in turn told me it is the area rangers who are required to monitor numbers," she said. "I'm really concerned about this because we have kangaroos all over the place and it's just a matter of time before somebody gets killed. It will be too late to do anything then, because that will be one life too many," she said. "My daughter has had three recent near misses with these animals and she's precious to me. It is very worrying. Kangaroo numbers in the hospital grounds are in plague proportions and this is where they are coming from. They aren't afraid of urban streets, any more." *Lakes Mail

Kangaroos and Climate Change

Not all kangaroos hop, and past climate changes explain why, according to the first detailed analysis of modern and extinct skeletons. "Kangaroos are our quintessential animal group and it's interesting that their evolution over the last 25 million years or so is closely matched to the changing climate and environment," said paleontologist Gavin Prideaux of Adelaide's Flinders University. "They are barometers of climate change." A good example of this is that musky rat kangaroo - Hypsiprymnodon moschatus, from the tropical rainforests of northeast Australia - gallops, an inheritance from primitive ancestors that flourished millions of years ago when the continent was warmer and wetter. "It's the last gasp of a primitive group of kangaroos," said University of NSW paleontologist Mike Archer. He agrees with Dr Prideaux and his anatomist colleague, Natalie Warburton of Perth's Murdoch University, that this tiniest of all roos sits in a group separate from all others.

Dr Prideaux and Dr Warburton came to the conclusion after analysing the skeletal remains of 35 current and extinct kangaroos and wallabies, so-called Macropodidae. Writing in the Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, they argue that the skulls, teeth and feet of the earliest roos were adapted, like the musky rat kangaroo, to moving about and feeding in lush soft-leaved forests. In contrast, more recent species such as today's red roos, Macropus rufus, are well suited to bounding across and grazing upon open grassland. Professor Archer said Dr Prideaux's and Dr Warburton's new roo family tree fitted neatly with the way that many experts viewed the relationships between the different groups. "What's most interesting to me is the finding about the banded hare wallaby," he said of their conclusion that the rare little Lagostrophus fasciatus was, as Dr Prideaux said, "the last of its lineage".

It is found on only two islands off the West Australian coast. Although early kangaroos probably appeared 40-50 million years ago, the number of known species increased dramatically about 15 million years ago. That coincides with when the climate became increasingly dry. The result was the appearance of numerous grass-eating hoppers like the largest roo that ever lived - the giant short-faced kangaroo Procoptodon goliah, which tipped the scales at more than 230kg. "As habitats opened up and changed the nature of the terrain, kangaroos could hop further and faster," said Dr Prideaux. *Australian

Another Kangaroo Kill

Kangaroos trapped in a sewage treatment plant after their habitat was destroyed by development in Sydney's west have been culled because there was not enough food to sustain them. The mob of eastern greys were squeezed off the 145ha ADI site, known as Sydney's secret garden, when it was sliced up for industry, houses and roads. They sought refuge on Sydney Water's treatment plant about five years ago. But 56 kangaroos were euthanised last week after their numbers "rapidly increased", leaving them hungry and their temporary habitat overcrowded. "Natural sources of food are limited, requiring Sydney Water to buy feed," a spokeswoman said. "The animals' health has declined and the plant's structures present a safety risk to the animals." The cull was "the best option" given the animals' condition, the spokeswoman said, because the site could not support the large mob. "Relocation is not possible as it is difficult to find a site willing to take them," she said, adding there was also concern the animals could spread disease to a new group.

The Department of Environment issued the licence to cull the kangaroos in a "humane and professional way". "The population is introduced and enclosed and there were concerns their condition could deteriorate as they became more overcrowded," the spokeswoman said. They were sedated before being euthanised by injection. Wildlife rescue volunteer Greg Keightley said the National Parks and Wildlife Service could save such animals if they managed the wildlife on government property before selling it to developers. "Agencies do not address the issues until it is too late, and then issue licences to kill the animals." he said. "These animals were once part of the mobs of kangaroos that lived on the ADI site. "Now they are killed because they are in the way." *Daily Telegraph

Comment by Greg Kneightley

Once again those pesky native animals get in the way. A cull of up to 80 eastern grey kangaroos is being carried out at a Sydney Water property adjacent the former ADI site at St Marys. The cull is being conducted by the same contractor that handled the controversial treatment of the thousands of kangaroos for Lend Lease Delfin at the ADI site. Reports are that all of the contained population of kangaroos on the Sydney Water site had to be killed. Greg Keightley, a wildlife rescue volunteer, and an advocate for native animal welfare is disappointed with the way that NPWS continue to take the easy way out.
"Its just another example of how agencies like NPWS do not address the issues surrounding the management of wildlife in areas subject to development or contained in existing government properties until it is too late, and then issue licences to kill the animals."

Similar situations occur on Federal Government Defence sites around the country, with culling of animals the easiest solution. "If agencies responsible for the welfare of these populations involved themselves in active management instead of ignoring the problem until it's too late, there would be less need for large scale killing." "We once again also have the involvement of a developer like Lend Lease lending a hand in the destruction of wildlife" he said.These animals were once part of the mobs of kangaroos that lived on the ADI site, with some ending up in Sydney Water property during the development. "Now they are killed because they are in the way" "The public pay a contractor a lot of money to kill animals of the Crown on public property that fell foul of a developer whose main focus is on making profits. I'm sure that we could do better". * Greg Keightley, letter to the Telegraph

Kangaroos attack Dogs

A Goulburn Valley vet has urged dog owners to be vigilant of kangaroos following a spate of attacks. Tatura Veterinary Clinic's Phil Stammers said several dogs had been admitted for surgery during the past few weeks after being savagely attacked by kangaroos. ``We hardly ever get this sort of thing happen, but last Friday we had three dogs come in after kangaroo attacks _ we also had another dog about a week earlier,'' Dr Stammers said. ``I'm not sure why it's happening all of a sudden; it's really quite strange.'' Dr Stammers said the injuries varied in severity, but were all consistent with repeated slashing from a kangaroo's hind claws. ``The worst we've had has been a big rip under one of the dog's front legs and another big cut near the neck,'' he said. ``I could actually fit my index finger in one of the holes.'' Dr Stammers said people should be constantly aware of where their dogs were when taking them for walks in rural areas. `If the kangaroo doesn't run away, then try not to go near (it), or approach with caution,'' he said. `They might see a dog as a threat so they may react aggressively.''

Harriman's Point resident Leanne Wilson said her dog, a seven-year-old German shepherd-cross named Rex, was one of the victims of the attacks. Ms Wilson said her property backed on to Waranga Basin, a common grazing and drinking spot for kangaroos. ``Because the basin is filling up, the foreshore is getting closer to the house, so the kangaroos have started to come up a bit closer lately,'' she said. Rex was attacked by a kangaroo that might have come up a little too close. `We were actually concerned for the kangaroo's safety as well, because Rex ran into the water and we were worried it was going to follow him in there and drown,'' she said. Dr Stammers said Rex was recovering well and said it was unlikely he would have aggressively attacked the kangaroo. Ms Wilson backed that claim, saying Rex was a docile pet. ``He's really not an aggressive dog,'' she said. ``I work at an aged-care home and he often comes along with me _ he's the nicest dog.'' *Shepperton News

New Kangaroo website..... especially designed for kids.....

Gruesome photos of wallabies and possums shot by Forestry contracters in Tasmania