Wild harvest of Australian native animals

Wild harvest of kangaroos and wallabies

In Australia, state and territory governments have primary responsibility for managing kangaroos and wallabies. Some states have determined that kangaroos may be sustainably harvested. States and territories have legislation to protect animal welfare.

The Australian Government only becomes involved when kangaroo products are exported overseas. Through national environment law—the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999—the Australian Government requires kangaroo management plans be developed before kangaroo products may be commercially exported. Management plans must demonstrate that the harvest of kangaroos is ecologically sustainable and does not have a detrimental impact either on the harvested species or their ecosystems. The plans also include parameters to determine the annual quotas for animals that may be taken for commercial purposes. The overall population of each harvested species is regularly monitored and annual quotas are adjusted to reflect changes in population.

New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia commercially harvest kangaroos for export and have management plans approved under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

Two species of wallabies are commercially harvested in Tasmania for the domestic market. However, an approved wildlife trade operation exists which allows the export of fur products sourced from wallabies that are harvested for meat in the domestic market.

All species subject to commercial harvesting are common and not listed as threatened species.

About kangaroo and wallaby harvesting

Kangaroo and wallaby population, quota and harvest statistics

Wild harvest and farming of crocodiles

The saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) and the freshwater crocodile (C. johnstoni) are the only species of crocodile that are native to Australia. Both species are listed under CITES Appendix II.

In Australia, state and territory governments have primary responsibility for managing crocodiles. The Australian Government only becomes involved when crocodile products are exported overseas. The crocodile industry operates in the Northern Territory, Queensland and Western Australia. Northern Territory (separate plans for freshwater and saltwater crocodiles) and Western Australia have approved management plans and Queensland utilises animals that are either sourced from eggs/hatchlings harvested in the Northern Territory under its management plan or are from an approved captive breeding program.

See also

Wild harvest of Tasmanian common brushtail possums

In Australia, state and territory governments have primary responsibility for the management of native wildlife. The Australian Government has constitutional power over exports and imports and becomes involved when native wildlife products are exported overseas.

The Tasmanian government has determined that common brushtail possums (Trichosurus vulpecula) may be wild-harvested in Tasmania for commercial purposes or controlled where they are causing damage to crops. The commercial possum industry produces a variety of products. However, these can only be exported if the possums are taken under the conditions of a management plan approved under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act). Accordingly, the Wildlife Management Branch of the Tasmanian Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment (DPIPWE) has developed a management plan for the commercial harvest of the Tasmanian population of the common brushtail possum. The management plan was approved in October 2010 but came into effect on 1 March 2011 following the setting of a quota by DPIPWE.

The common brushtail possum is common in Tasmania and is not listed as threatened under the EPBC Act. The overall population of the species is regularly monitored and annual quotas are adjusted to reflect changes in population. Tasmania also has animal welfare legislation.

1 March-30 June 2011 and 1 July 2011 to 30 June 2012 Quotas

DPIPWE conducts annual standardised roadside surveys across each management region. Spotlight surveys have been undertaken on mainland Tasmania since 1975. The spotlight surveys estimate possum densities along the roadside. The actual density may be higher or lower depending on whether possums in a particular area tend to congregate near or away from roadsides. The estimate should therefore be regarded as a more repeatable index of population density, but cannot be extrapolated into a state-wide population estimate. Further information on survey methodology and the formula used to calculate the density indexes in the table below can be found in the management plan.

The quotas for each of the four management regions are as follows:

Quotas for each of the four management regions
Region Quota for
1 March–30 June 2011
Quota for
1 July 2011–30 June 2012
Quota for
1 July 2012–30 June 2013
Central 5,293 15,878 7,063
South East 5,310 15,930 19,935
North East 6,808 20,425 26,286
North West 2,611 7,832 5,854
Total 20,022 60,065 59,138