SA expands kangaroo harvest zone

South Australia's 2020 commercial kangaroo harvest will be limited due to drought.
South Australia's 2020 commercial kangaroo harvest will be limited due to drought.

South Australia's commercial kangaroo harvest zone will be expanded and more species added but the quota for 2020 has been reduced to reflect lower animal numbers because of the drought.

From January, Yorke Peninsula, the Adelaide Hills, the Fleurieu Peninsula, the southeast and Kangaroo Island will be added to the areas available.

The species of kangaroo available for commercial harvest will also increase to add the tammar wallaby, Kangaroo Island sub-species of western grey kangaroo and eastern grey kangaroo, to the existing species of red kangaroo, western grey kangaroo and euro.

Primary Industries Minister Tim Whetstone said the updated South Australian Commercial Kangaroo Management Plan would have wide-ranging benefits.

"The change will support primary producers, local government and the commercial kangaroo industry to better manage overabundant kangaroos, and provide an opportunity to use kangaroos for meat or skin production that might otherwise only be culled and left on the ground," Mr Whetstone said.

"While recent dry conditions have resulted in a natural decline of kangaroo numbers in the north of South Australia, populations remain high across most agricultural areas of the state.

"High kangaroo numbers put pressure on our agricultural industry, the environment, the quality of life of kangaroos and also pose a danger to motorists."

The population estimate for kangaroos in the commercial harvest area is 3.6 million, compared to the 2018 estimate of 4.4 million.

The commercial harvest will be limited to 518,600, down from 730,200 this year.

Kangaroo Industry Association of Australia President Ray Borda said the changes were a step in the right direction to balance animal welfare and sustainability during drought conditions.

Australian Associated Press