Conservation cull to take place in grasslands and woodlands
Update Friday 1 June 2017:
The ACT Government wishes to advise that a number of nature reserves and adjacent territory land will be closed from mid to late afternoon until early morning over the coming months to allow a conservation cull of eastern grey kangaroos to take place. The closures will start from Wednesday 17 May 2017.
“The conservation cull of up to 2606 eastern grey kangaroos in Canberra and Googong Foreshores in nearby NSW is needed to protect biodiversity and maintain populations at appropriate levels to minimise impacts on other flora and fauna in critical grassland and woodland sites,” Daniel Iglesias, Director of Parks and Conservation said.
“More than half of the cull quota this year – up to 1406 eastern grey kangaroos – is for ACT managed Googong Foreshores across the NSW border. Googong Foreshores contains a number of threatened ecological communities and plant and animal species. It forms part of a corridor of relatively intact vegetation extending from the Tinderry Range to the north-eastern ACT.
“The number of eastern grey kangaroos to be culled in each area is assessed annually by ACT Government ecologists and takes into account current scientific knowledge and the target densities necessary to support conservation outcomes. Due to previous culling and favorable conditions for pasture growth, the numbers to cull at some sites are reduced this year. Culling is conducted in a minority of reserves.
"Culling of overabundant kangaroos is currently the most humane method of population control available to the ACT Government as a responsible land manager. However a research trial is currently underway into the use of a fertility control vaccine as a potential non-lethal approach to eastern grey kangaroo management. Preliminary results are looking positive, with more results expected towards the end of the year.”
Mr Iglesias said ensuring the grasslands and woodlands are not overgrazed will protect threatened species and ecosystems, provide habitat for creatures such as lizards and ground-feeding birds, prevent excessive soil loss and maintain sustainable numbers of kangaroos.
"Every year we assess the population of eastern grey kangaroos at each site as well as take into account the amount of ground layer vegetation at each site to determine whether culling is required,” Mr Iglesias said.
"Importantly, we also undertake the conservation cull in conjunction with other land management activities. Weed management and rabbit control is also conducted on each of the nature reserves where culling is being undertaken and ParkCare volunteers provide additional support through hundreds of hours of volunteer work."
Mr Iglesias said the conservation cull will be conducted according to the relevant National Code of Practice. ACT Parks and Conservation Service staff will patrol areas to ensure the safety of the public. Warning signs will be placed at all entry points to the reserves and surveillance cameras will be used to enhance public safety and detect illegal activity.
“I urge the public to be vigilant and report any illegal activity at affected nature reserves. Every year the ACT Government experiences vandalism and removal of warning signage which costs taxpayers’ money to repair the damage and disrupts the work of volunteer groups who help look after our parks. To report incidents of vandalism or suspicious behaviour please contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or Access Canberra on 13 22 81.
“Fines apply under the Nature Conservation Act 2014 for vandalising reserve infrastructure or entering closed reserves.”
The 12 sites to be closed for the conservation cull are Mulligans Flat Nature Reserve, Goorooyarroo Nature Reserve, Mount Majura Nature Reserve and adjacent territory land, Kama Nature Reserve, Mount Painter Nature Reserve and adjacent territory land, The Pinnacle Nature Reserve and adjacent unleased land, Mount Mugga Mugga Nature Reserve, Isaacs Ridge Nature Reserves, Callum Brae Nature Reserve, East Jerrabomberra Grasslands, West Jerrabomberra Nature Reserve, and Googong Foreshores.
Callum Brae Nature Reserve, East Jerrabomberra Grasslands, West Jerrabomberra Nature Reserve, Goorooyarroo Nature Reserve, Mulligans Flat Nature Reserve, and Kama Nature Reserve, will be closed between 3 pm and 7 am each day.
Mount Majura Nature Reserve and adjacent territory land, Mount Painter Nature Reserve and adjacent territory land, Mount Mugga Mugga Nature Reserve, Isaacs Ridge Nature Reserve, and The Pinnacle Nature Reserve and adjacent unleased land, will be closed from 5 pm to 7 am each day.
Googong Foreshores will be closed from 6 pm to 8 am each day.
All sites will be closed at certain times from Wednesday 17 May 2017. Sites will re-open from Saturday 29 July 2017, or earlier if the program is completed sooner.
The ACT Government will again be using a proportion of the kangaroo meat to make baits to use in its wild dog and fox control programs.
- Statement ends -
Section: ACT Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate | Media Releases