Interactive Learning:

 

 

link

 

link

 

link to products page

 

link to recipes

 

link to news section

 

link to media section

 

link to further resources

 

 

 

 

Do you want to:

(1) - find out where Kangaroos live?

(2) - gather information about the industry?

(3) - test your knowledge about the industry?

Then this page is for you. You can find out about how kangaroos are harvested, the impact of kangaroos on the environment, and how many Kangaroos live in Australia. 

Here we present some general background information then lead on to a 'shocking' experience!

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Since the 1800s, European settlement has dramatically altered large parts of Australia. This is particularly obvious in areas such as Sydney, but in other areas such as the 'rangelands' it needs a closer look to examine the effects. The rangelands are the large areas of inland Australia where the sheep and cattle grazing industry is based. It is also where most kangaroos live. The home rangelands of the 5 species of kangaroo commercially harvested are shown below.

 

WHERE KANGAROOS LIVE

Although kangaroos live in most other parts of Australia, it is in these areas where Kangaroos are mainly harvested under controlled conditions. These areas can produce large amounts of good quality grazing for animals that live there. However, they also receive relatively low and irregular rainfall. In addition they have very few permanent rivers and other natural watering points.

The availability of water has for many thousands of years determined how many kangaroos and other species lived in the rangelands.

This situation changed with white settlement. Large amounts of underground water were discovered and used to provide water for sheep and cattle. Kangaroos also benefited from this unlimited amount of water and were able to increase their numbers. It is now widely accepted that there are many more kangaroos in the rangelands now than before Captain Cook arrived in Australia.

SUSTAINING THE ENVIRONMENT

Properties in the rangelands are very different to the typical picture of a farm. They are very large, often as large as whole provinces in Europe with large amounts of bush or other land on which natural, domestic and feral animals live.

The rangelands receive little rainfall - about 10 inches (250 millimeters) each year. Because of this, the environment is very fragile and it is essential that the region not be overgrazed, otherwise the area would easily become a dessert. This means that the numbers of all the animals must be controlled to ensure that the environment can be maintained and not damaged through overgrazing.

Just as farmers must carefully control their numbers of sheep and cattle, the numbers of kangaroos must be controlled to ensure they don't overgraze the environment. Management of the 'total grazing pressure' of domestic and wild animals is an essential part of sustainable ecological management of this unique environment.

Kangaroo harvesting is the means used to manage the grazing pressure exerted by the kangaroo population. Computer simulations show that without harvesting, kangaroo numbers could be 30-40% higher than they currently are, and would damage the fragile environment.

Many Australian ecologists are now suggesting that we should try to replace, at least to some extent sheep and cattle with kangaroos on rangeland properties. The hard hoofs of sheep and cattle are not adapted for the Australian environment, they cause a lot of damage to our fragile soils which are amongst the oldest on earth.

Kangaroos on the other hand are adapted to Australia, they have soft pads on their feet which don't harm our fragile soils. They also have grazing patterns adapted to the native grass communities. This is why many people consider harvesting wild kangaroos to be a more enviromentally sound way of utilising the rangelands than grazing sheep or cattle.

Click here for a selection of ecologists and conservation groups who are on record as supporting the kangaroo industry as a sustainable, environmentally wise or responsible one.

Click here for more detailed background information on the industry.

SCHOCKWAVE SITE

This section of the site uses Shockwave technology to provide truly interactive learning experiences about the Kangaroo Industry.

To view this part of the site your computer must have at least 8megs RAM, Netscape 2.02 and above, Microsoft Internet Explorer 3 and above and the appropriate Shockwave plug-ins. These options are available for downloading from the following links:

Start the Interactive Experience now!


Home |Our Industry | For Schools | Products | Recipes
News/Articles | Letters | Links & Other Info