Prospects for ecologically and socially sustainable management of total grazing pressure in the southern rangelands of Australia

R. B. (Ron) Hacker, Katrina Sinclair, Lester Pahl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Numerous large herbivore species, both native and exotic, share the southern Australian rangelands with
domestic livestock, which often account for only about half of the total grazing pressure. Although each presents its
individual challenge to landholders, the management of kangaroos is a key component of ecologically sustainable
management of the region because (a) they represent a significant component of the non-domestic grazing pressure,
particularly in areas from which dingos and wild dogs have been (partially) removed; (b) commercial harvesting, the means
of control that has the highest social acceptability, has been rendered ineffective by the actions of activist groups and market closure due to food safety concerns; ( c) the task is largely beyond the capacity of individual landholders; and ( d) the same constraints do not apply to other non-domestic components of total grazing pressure. Management of total grazing pressure, and particularly kangaroos, currently represents a case of market failure because the level of management that can be expected of landholders is not consistent with public expectations for resource conservation and animal welfare. Several
avenues are available by which kangaroo management could be advanced to achieve both public and private benefits. These
include adoption of an active, adaptive management approach to the kangaroo population, establishment of arrangements
that will shift the general perception of kangaroos from pest to resource, development of an appropriate incentive framework to achieve desirable landscape outcomes, and continued evaluation of the benefits and costs of cluster fencing. These initiatives require both a greater commitment from governments to address the market failure and a proactive stance by industry to engage stakeholders, self-regulate, and objectively demonstrate environmental and animal welfare credentials.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)581-586
Number of pages6
JournalRangeland Journal
Volume41
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 24 Mar 2020

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