Address for correspondence: AWMS, c/o Desley Whisson, School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Science & Technology Campus, Deakin University, 221 Burwood Hwy, Burwood, VIC 3125, AUSTRALIA
Re: Kangaroo Management at Belconnen Naval Site
The Australasian Wildlife Management Society (AWMS) has been watching the debate surrounding the management of kangaroos on the Belconnen Naval site with interest.
In existence for 20 years, the society is composed of wildlife managers, researchers and policy makers from primarily Australia and New Zealand. It has broad experience in all aspects of wildlife management, especially in contentious areas with a large human dimension component such as that existing at the Belconnen site.
The AWMS is aware of the advice provided by an expert panel which recommends that the most practical and humane way of reducing kangaroo numbers under the circumstances is by sedation followed by lethal injection. This is in lieu of the preferred and most humane method of shooting by expert marksmen, considered unsafe by the Federal police under the circumstances. The expert panel also recommended that long term management of numbers may be achieved by fertility control if properly implemented.
These recommendations are supported by the AWMS and the Federal Government is urged to implement them as a matter of urgency. This will ensure the kangaroos do not continue to overgraze the grassland, suffer a food shortage during winter and negatively impact on other plant dependent native species.
The AWMS does not support translocation of the kangaroos as it is an entirely inappropriate management strategy under the circumstances.
Terry Korn PSM
Australasian Wildlife Management Society
8 April 2008