Roos move in from west for food, water
DRY conditions are forcing kangaroos to move in from the west of the state to find food and water.
AgForce North regional director and grazier Dominic Burden said the numbers were astounding.
“We can have anywhere between 10,000 and 15,000 of them. We’re feeding them and we aren’t getting a dollar for it,” he said.
“The best way to manage them is to keep their numbers down and we’ve been doing that by culling under permits.
“We’ve culled thousands of them.”
Mr Burden said large infestations of the native animal left little to no food for their livestock.
“They eat a lot of ground cover,” he said.
“Their numbers explode when it rains, they come and get the green pick.
“If there were less of them we probably wouldn’t be as short on feed as we are.”
While culling them for the kangaroo industry has been suggested, he said there
❝ We can have anywhere between 10,000 and 15,000 of them. We’re feeding and grazing them and we aren’t getting a dollar for it. — Dominic Burden
wasn’t a sustainable market for them.
“There isn’t any demand for a large amount of their meat,” he said. “There needs to be something realistic there for it to be able to work.”
He said under current permit laws, people weren’t allowed to use the skin or meat of the roos.
“It would be hard for some people on the land because you’re raised not to waste anything,” he said.
Mr Burden said the installation of fencing has also helped with the problem.
“The difference in country is amazing,” he said.
“We do still have a healthy population of roos in the fencing, but they are in much smaller numbers.”
AgForce Central regional president/director John Baker said he had noticed a rise in numbers as the drought continued.
“I’ve noticed their numbers rising in the last two or three years,” he said.
“As it has gotten drier they have started to come further east searching for feed and water.
“They eat a lot of grass. Five kangaroos eat as much as one cow, so if you had 1000 of them, that’s 100 head of cattle you could be running.
“They also cause a lot of damage to fences when they try to get in or out.”
FEED SHORTAGE: Graziers across Western Queensland are losing feed thanks to large mobs of kangaroos eating most of their ground cover.