Roo cull ‘will increase city’s bushfire risk’

Roo cull ‘will increase city’s bushfire risk’

20 October 2009

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Australia — Canberra’s controversial kangaroo culls will increase summer bushfire risk, and undermine the capacity of the city’s nature reserves to cope with climate change, a new report says.

Commissioned by ACT Commissioner for Sustainability and the Environment, Maxine Cooper, the report says there is ”no evidence to support the theory that kangaroos constitute an ecological hazard”. It warns culling kangaroos in the city’s nature reserves will reduce native plant biodiversity, increase erosion and sedimentation of rivers and creeks, allow weeds to proliferate and undermine post-fire recovery of ecosystems.

It said Canberra had no over-arching biodiversity conservation plan which mapped out a strategy to protect the ACT’s ecosystems and water catchments from climate change. Future planning should protect urban wildlife habitat and create ”well-managed wildlife corridors and reserves” to make Canberra ”a biodiversity sanctuary, rather than confining nature to beyond the city limits”.

Written by environmental think-tank the Canberra Environment and Sustainability Resource Centre, the report said any biodiversity conservation plan for Canberra ”must include kangaroos as an integral part of the solution rather than regarding them as a problem to be managed”.

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