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Kangaroos – The 100 Days Project: Day 52 [49]

Invasive species management?

Photo: David Brooks

In a promotional video – call it an infomercial – for cluster fencing, one more menacing development in the kangaroos’ dire predicament, a representative of a Queensland Wild Dog Advisory Group made the extraordinary claim that it was the ‘massive’ kangaroo population which had brought about an explosion in the dingo population, and therefore the alarming rate of predation of dingoes upon sheep. I mean no sleight at all toward sheep (far from it: I live with rescued sheep and count them amongst my closest companions), but does anyone else see the bizarre logic here? It should be easy enough, since it has multiple faces. For a start the ‘explosion’ of kangaroo numbers is all too often attributed to a lack of dingoes. And for seconds, it’s hard to see how, on the one hand, the one indigenous species involved here – the kangaroo – should in effect be cast as the invasive species, and, on the other, the truly invasive and predatorial species, humans (homo omnicidens, the killer of all) manages to avoid mention.  But then, when human interest is involved, a great many things get turned on their head. And these in any case are only the beginning. That the introduction of sheep into an environment never intended for them, and for which they were never intended, may be an equal or greater cause of an ‘explosion’ of the dingo population – may be the cause – is carefully side-stepped. Perhaps, his mind so carefully managed by the wool and meat industries, it never occurred to this gentleman at all.

The kangaroo, scape-goated, again.


‘In the last probably ten years the wild dog population is growing on the back of a massive macropod population. We’re a developing country: we’re providing water, we’re providing feed for our macropods as well as our dogs. Scalpings are now almost up around 3,000 dogs a year. It’s almost uncontrollable.’

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