Kangaroos vs V8 racing cars

Tents_BertieIt’s nearly race time. I took this pic the other day, while they were still setting up the lines of tents on the soccer fields. Bertie is in the pic – not very obviously. Today a flurry of emails about what has happened to the kangaroos on Mt Panorama in the lead-up to the race. The short version is that they have been shot. The joeys have been dealt with “humanely” (killed, in other words). The following is from Helen Bergen:

National Parks & Wildlife have given two licences to Bathurst Regional Council to shoot 140 kangaroos on Mnt Panorama, home of Bathurst’s car race to be held in 2 weeks.
The Western Advocate said they were advised this was for “public safety” for the race.
As WIRES members, we are continually having to deal with kangaroos at Mnt Panorama tangled in fences, hit by cars, dispersing into suburbs etc.
These are the last of the actual town’s kangaroos – the last of thousands of generations that have been pushed into the small pocket of Mnt Panorama and managing to survive.
140 roos is certainly much more than the 15% allowed in commercial killing zones, and having walked the environs over many years specifically noting the kangaroos in the area, we would suggest represents most of the remaining population there – NPWS refused to answer the question of what percentage it represents.
NPWS also refused to answer the following questions – these questions also need to be asked of Council:
· How many kangaroos are actually up on the Mount and its “nature reserves” and environs?
· What consideration has been given to the wallaroos and swamp wallabies on the Mnt – are they to be shot also?
· What is happening to the young at foot – who are still fed by their mothers?
· What about the young in pouch?
· What consideration is given to the big male roos, who represent the most important genetic lines for the future?
· Has any consideration been given to creating corridors to allow roos to disperse, eg at the back of the Mount?
· Where is the kangaroo management plan that has determined this is to happen after due consideration of all other ecological factors – or is this a knee jerk reaction to terrified kangaroos on the racing track at last year’s Big Race?
Questions of the sponsors of the race – SuperCheap Auto; Lawrence & Hanson; XXXX beer; as well as the sponsors of the driving teams
· Would you be proud to publicise that 140 kangaroos were shot as part of the preparation for the Bathurst 1000 race?
Are you prepared to allow this to happen without a whimper?
Platitudes to do with “public safety” (the big race), with “sustaining the kangaroo population” (I kid you not) etc do not provide answers to the questions above.
Is this how we thoughtfully care for our wildlife. This is how wildlife disappears from our landscapes – and we accept it as inevitable, so make no noise as it happens.
Please pass on this information to all and sundry. Please ask the questions of Bathurst NPWS, Bathurst Regional Council, the media and the race sponsors.

Then, this follow-up email.
Well – new news.  It’s all done and dusted….licences ran out 31st September.
It represented over 50% of the “counted” population of 250 (We strongly dispute this on our own observations)
Question: did anyone actually count the numbers there?
There are about 70 at Boundary Rd, we counted about 10 on the reserve at the back of the mount, and about 20 live at Bannockburn Estate…have never seen more than 12 – 20 in the middle of the track – but there are likely a few more small families there.
What was the survey method?  Where is the kangaroo management plan?  Why has council done this without informing councillors?  How is it that council adopts the butterfly for its logo, then shoots its kangaroos?
Joeys were “dealt with humanely”, ie killed.

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