Concerns for Safety as Kangaroo Populations Surge

Published: Thursday, 9 August 2018 at 10:24:17 AM

The Shire of Denmark and the WA College of Agriculture are working together to manage growing kangaroo numbers at sites across the Shire by way of a short-term cull, with the airport and agricultural college the top priorities. The decision comes amid serious concerns for pilot safety and disruption to college operations due to the large congregations.

The Shire received complaints regarding several near-misses at the airport recently, with one local pilot forced to abort a landing due to kangaroos on the runway. This has prompted the need for urgent action to control numbers now, and investigation into long-term management options for the future.

Shire CEO Mr Bill Parker said ‘Kangaroos pose a serious threat to aircraft, particularly when landing in the late afternoon. It would appear that kangaroo numbers at the airport have been steadily increasing over the past few years. We are very concerned about pilot safety.’

‘Given the risks, our immediate options are very limited to a cull. Longer term, the Shire is investigating improving fencing at the airport. This may assist the college by creating a barrier between large forest lots and tree farms to the north east and the college pasture to the south.’

Operations at the WA College of Agriculture, located immediately south of the airport, have also been impacted. Principal Mr Kevin Osborne agrees that numbers are steadily increasing.

‘The Agricultural Advisory Committee has requested that we work with the Shire to reduce the number of kangaroos on the college farm.  We are noticing increased levels of damage to our conserved fodder paddocks, damage to fences and a reduction in the amount of food on offer to our livestock’ he said.

The proposed cull will be carried out by a licenced contractor and will occur on either a weekend or holiday period when the college is closed. The Shire has obtained all necessary approvals from the appropriate agency.

Recent seasons have been favourable for kangaroo reproduction, with vast populations seen moving through pastured areas across the Shire.

Bill Parker

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