Kangaroo boom follows Queensland floods

By AAP with AG STAFF 11 November 2011
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This year’s floods have led to a near 100 per cent increase in population numbers of some species of kangaroo.

HEAVY RAIN IN QUEENSLAND this year has meant diseased fish in one harbour, but on land, it has sent the kangaroo population soaring.

The Department of Environment and Resources Management argues the plight of Gladstone Harbour’s marine life is not due to dredging, but from problems associated with a massive influx of fresh water from this year’s floods.

Kangaroo population increasing in QLD due to floods

But aerial survey data indicate a significant increase in kangaroo numbers in Queensland, thanks to increased vegetation. “It is estimated the red kangaroo population is 5.8 million compared to 3.6 million for 2010,” the department’s environmental services regional manager Dr Chris Hill said. “This represents a 59 per cent increase.”

“Equivalent figures for the eastern grey kangaroo are 10.8 million, compared to 6.6 million, or an increase of 62 per cent,” he said. “Common wallaroo figures have risen from 1.9 million to 3.8 million representing a 97 per cent increase.”

Chris added that these increases were not unexpected given the above average rainfall experienced over the last two years across much of Queensland.

Demand for Kangaroo meat has fallen

Kangaroo Industry Association Australia executive John Kelly told reporters that another factor was that the demand for kangaroo meat had fallen by half of what it was before the Russian government suspended market access to 300 meat producers from 25 countries, including all kangaroo exporters.

Kangaroos have been harvested on a commercial scale for more than a century, predominantly in Queensland.