Getting the hop on overabundant and pest species

What do kangaroos, little corellas, deer, flying foxes, carp and long nosed fur seals all have in common?

They are just some of the animals, fish and birds which feature in a new report on how to deal with overabundant or pest species in South Australia.

The Natural Resources Committee Inquiry into Overabundant and Pest Species Report was released earlier this month with 13 recommendations being made to the State Government.

Some of those included creating the role of chief ecologist who would provide information on management; allowing the Minister for Environment to declare a species as a pest or overabundant; and seeking advice from Aboriginal communities in management approaches.

It was also recommended the government seek ways to help develop commercial harvesting and marketing opportunities of pest and overabundant species.

Minister for Environment and Water David Speirs said the majority of the 13 recommendations in the Natural Resources Committee's report ran parallel with the government's approach to humane management of species.

"The State Government is already doing a significant amount of work when it comes to overabundant species including kangaroos, koalas and corellas and we will use the report and work of the committee to help identify areas for improvement," Mr Speirs said.

"It's important that landholders, communities and governments work together to manage wildlife in a way that that understands risk, impact and is uses the most current research."

Submissions made by interested persons and parties came from organisations such as Murrray Darling Basin NRM Board, Livestock SA, Southern Fishermen's Association, RSPCA, Biosecurity SA and councils.

Discussions in the report included impacts on ecosystems, contamination of crops, human health impacts, and competition for feed and pasture.

There were also submissions which highlighted the costs associated with managing species as well as repairs to damaged infrastructure.

For example some councils noted costs of $10,000 upwards for control measures of pests while the damage bills reach tens of thousands of dollars. Culling was discussed as a means of keeping down numbers of some animals, such as kangaroos and carp, as part of a commercial harvesting system while biological controls could provide good results in some instances.

The development of new industries may also add economic value to the state if changes in practices could be implemented. These industries could include the use of carp, goat, seal and kangaroo in the meat and skins markets.

To view the report visit:

This story Delicate balancing act first appeared on Barossa & Light Herald.