Kangaroo management

Background

In NSW kangaroos are protected under the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 and cannot be harmed without a licence. However, kangaroos are one of the few native species that have thrived since European settlement and most states have programs in place to allow them to be utilised as a resource or managed as a pest.

There are two types of licences that can be obtained to manage kangaroos in NSW:

(1) Commercial Harvester (Kangaroo) Licences for professionals and landholders.

(2) Non-commercial Licences to harm kangaroos for the purpose of damage mitigation and public safety.

Commercial harvesting of kangaroos in NSW

Kangaroo meat and skins are marketed both nationally and internationally, with meat being processed for human consumption and pet food.

The commercial kangaroo industry is highly regulated and professional kangaroo harvesters must be accredited and undergo regular accuracy testing in addition to game harvester accreditation to meet food hygiene standards.

They must also comply with the National Code of Practice for the Humane Shooting of Kangaroos and Wallabies for Commercial Purposes.

In NSW there are four abundant species of kangaroos that can be commercially harvested:

  1. Eastern grey (Macropus giganteus)
  2. Western Grey (Macropus fuliginosus)
  3. Red (Macropus rufus) and
  4. Wallaroo (macropus robustus ssp robustus)

The NSW Kangaroo Management Program is administered by the NSW Government and is aimed at maintaining ecologically sustainable populations. The program includes:

  • annual population monitoring
  • establishment of sustainable harvest quotas
  • issuing of licences and tags for kangaroo harvesters and animal dealers
  • public reporting
  • research.

Non-commercial licence to harm kangaroos

The NSW Government supports commercial harvesting as a sustainable approach to managing kangaroo numbers and utilising them as a resource, but recognises that there are circumstances in which landholders may be required to manage kangaroo numbers to mitigate impacts on agricultural enterprises, landscapes, human health and safety, and infrastructure.

In such situations, a Licence to Harm Kangaroos can be obtained through NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS). In addition to obtaining the appropriate permits, all damage mitigation culling must be undertaken according to the National Code of Practice for the humane shooting of kangaroos and wallabies for non-commercial purposes.

In December 2019, the NSW Government issued revised conditions for these licences that reflect updated kangaroo population estimates, and in particular species and zones that have shown significant decreases and been closed for commercial harvesting. Changes to licences for 2020 can be found here.

Register of kangaroo shooters

Local Land Services maintains a register of licenced commercial harvesters, professional and experienced volunteer recreational shooters who are willing to assist landholders to manage kangaroos.

For shooters

Shooters who hold a NSW firearms licence and would like to help landholders to manage kangaroo numbers can register their interest here.

Submitting this form means your contact information will be added to kangaroo hunter register that can be accessed by landholders.

For landholders

Landholders who wish to obtain contact details of a shooter in their region can register their interest here. Once registered, landholders will receive a spreadsheet with the contact details for registered shooters in their region.

Please be aware the Local Land Services has not verified the licences, qualifications or experience of the shooters listed in this register. Any landholder who wishes to make contact with a shooter listed on this register must ensure that they conduct their own inquiries as to the suitability of the shooter for their needs. Local Land Services does not accept any responsibility for false or misleading claims made by shooters on this register.

Non-commercial kangaroo shooters best practice guide

The Department of Primary Industries Game Licensing Unit has developed a comprehensive best practice guide for shooters wanting to be involved in non-commercial kangaroo culling.

The guide covers critical aspects of safe and humane kangaroo culling including:

  • legislative requirements
  • kangaroo species identification
  • firearms calibres and projectiles
  • marksmanship and shot placement
  • disease identification
  • handling game meat.

The best practice guide will be provided to all landholders and shooters participating in non-commercial kangaroo culling.

Find out more about the guide.

Resources

Project contact

Fiona Garland, Kangaroo Management with Western Local Land Services, 0467 731 824 or fiona.garland@lls.nsw.gov.au.

Related information