NPR – MANAGING WALLABIES ON KING ISLAND: MANAGEMENT THAT WORKS
Freeman, E., Keeler, S.
Since 1995 populations of wallabies, predominantly Bennetts wallaby (Macropus rufogriseus), and to a lesser degree Tasmanian pademelon (Thylogale billardierii), have been abundant in King Island landscapes, impacting natural and agricultural environments. King Island lies between Tasmania and mainland Australia, encompassing 110 000 ha of predominantly flat landscapes, some plateau country, and a large extent of cleared pasture land with remnant bushland. The island boasts quality beef and dairy production, and pristine natural environments. To manage wallabies, and their browsing impacts on natural and agricultural environments in 2013 a Wallaby Management Coordinator was employed by the Tasmanian Government’s Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment. Management encompasses wallaby-proof fencing, shooting, education and neighbour co-operation. Seven properties initially engaged in wallaby management. Today thirty-one properties engage in wallaby management, and eighty have Crop Protection Permits. In six years an average of 71 667 wallabies have been culled per year, and 240 kilometres of wallaby-proof fencing has been installed. Properties engaged in wallaby management are reaping the rewards, with one property reporting a 75% increase in production in three years of wallaby management. The future profitability of agricultural production relies on continual management of these species.
Keywords: Management integrated agriculture production, wallaby macropod