Friends of Grasslands

supporting native grassy ecosystems

PO Box 440
Jamison Centre
Macquarie ACT 2614

email: advocacy@fog.org.au
web: www.fog.org.au

 

Manager
Conservation Research
Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate
PO Box 158, Canberra ACT 2601
Email: environment@act.gov.au

 

Dear Sir/Madam

2016 draft Eastern Grey Kangaroo Management Plan

Friends of Grasslands (FOG) is a community group dedicated to the conservation of natural temperate grassy ecosystems in south-eastern Australia. FOG advocates, educates and advises on matters to do with the conservation of grassy ecosystems, and carries out surveys and other on-ground work. FOG is based in Canberra and its members include professional scientists, landowners, land managers and interested members of the public.

FOG has for many years supported the need to control kangaroo numbers for the reasons given in the draft control plan, and believes that the control program should be ongoing and should not be subject to an annual process of approval.

FOG congratulates the authors on the research that has taken place to support the control plan and the presentation of that research in the report. FOG has always believed that a sound scientific basis should underlie conservation management. Figure 2 (page 17), for example, is telling in terms of the impacts of kangaroo numbers on the Grassland Earless Dragon and provides a good example of the need for the management plan.

Section 5.4.3, page 51, first box: FOG strongly supports management of kangaroo populations to achieve grassland target densities where greenfield sites adjoin high conservation grasslands but is concerned that the statement as written excludes grassy woodland ecosystems. The wording of this would be better as either “… adjoining high conservation grassy ecosystems”, or “… adjoining lowland grassy ecosystems”. This recognises the impact of high density kangaroo grazing and sheltering under trees in habitat used by species such as Hooded Robin and Brown Treecreeper that rely substantially on the ground layer for feeding.

Section 5.4.4, page 51, second box: similarly, FOG strongly supports management of kangaroo populations to achieve grassland target densities in unreserved sites containing high conservation grasslands but again is concerned that the statement as written excludes grassy woodland ecosystems. The wording of this would be better as either “… containing high conservation grassy ecosystems”, or “…containing lowland grassy ecosystems”.

FOG supports the draft Conservation Culling Calculator Notification, with its aim to maintain densities of Eastern Grey Kangaroos at levels that retain grassland and grassy woodland conservation values. The proposed adjustments to be made both between years and between reserves to allow for differences in environmental variables or to manage habitat for specific species is an important feature if we are to maintain endangered grassy ecosystems and dependent endangered species. Regular review of the Calculator will also be needed as more evidence of the impact of different kangaroo densities on grassy ecosystem health becomes available.

Yours sincerely

 

Sarah Sharp

Convenor, Advocacy Group

 23 March 2017