STORIES FROM PEOPLE
WHO LIVE WITH KANGAROOS
The letters below communicate the wide support for the industry within academic communities, conservation groups and non-government organisations as well as residents of rural areas who live with kangaroos on a daily basis.
I live on a farm near Yass in New South Wales Australia, I am the fifth generation of my family to farm this property and my son James will continue when he becomes of age. Over-abundant kangaroos are a serious problem for us. They eat all ground cover, grasses and small native bushes which leads to erosion of soil and extinction of native grasses and small bushes. In a good season the kangaroo population can grow from 8 to 10 per paddock/ field to 50 to 60 per paddock. In a dry time which can go for several years here in Australia the effects of these large numbers are catastrophic to the environment and the sustainability of the farm.
Kangaroos are a significant threat to our well being, they cause numerous motor vehicle accidents from which I have personal experience when my 22 year old daughter was killed by the driver having swerved to avoid a kangaroo on the road. Many of us do not like to travel on rural roads at night as kangaroos have no visible eye pigment and they loom from nowhere and jump in unpredictable arcs into car headlights.
It has reached the stage our major highways are littered with kangaroo corpses and there are certain roads such as the Snowy Mountain Highway which are avoided at all costs over the summer as kangaroos cross the road in morning and evening to water.
I do not wish to see kangaroos eliminated but I do regard it as extremely important that kangaroo numbers be controlled.
Over-abundant kangaroos are a serious problem for us. Small groups of up to 8 (family) are not a problem, however my saved pasture/crop for winter feed is quickly decimated but mobs of juveniles between 45-65 in a 20acre paddock. They also damage fences, making biosecurity between neighbours, difficult to maintain.(kangaroos push under fences in preference to jumping, creating holes that sheep just walk through.)