Sheep, dingoes and kangaroos: new challenges and a change of direction 20 years on

Clark, Peter and Clark, Elizabeth and Allen, Benjamin L. ORCID: (2018) Sheep, dingoes and kangaroos: new challenges and a change of direction 20 years on. In: Advances in conservation through sustainable use of wildlife. University of Queensland, Gatton, Australia, pp. 173-178. ISBN 978-0-646-99219-8

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Predation and competition are two primary forces limiting the extent to which sheep can be grazed in the Australian rangelands, particularly in Queensland. Dingo predation has been non-existent in much of the sheep zone since the localised eradication of dingoes in the early 1900s. Competition with kangaroos has been ever-present, but was previously managed (to some extent) by the commercial kangaroo harvesting industry. However, changes to dingo distribution and kangaroo densities and harvesting over the last 20 years have meant that dingo predation and kangaroo competition again threaten viable sheep production in the rangelands. Dingoes have increased their distribution and density in almost all sheep grazing areas and contemporary lethal control efforts are not preventing the decline of sheep. Loss of valuable international markets and moves to now harvest only adult male kangaroos means that the kangaroo harvesting industry produces little relief from kangaroo grazing pressure (given that kangaroo population growth is little affected by removal of adult males; see Finch et al. this volume). New approaches to dingo and kangaroo management are sorely needed to salvage and restore the production of sheep in the rangelands. In response, the installation and use of pest-proof fences is rapidly increasing in Queensland and other areas, facilitating, for the first time in nearly a century, the localised eradication of dingoes and the suppression of kangaroos to manageable numbers within fenced areas. We describe these challenges and opportunities for one site in particular (Leander Station), and offer a sheep grazier’s perspective on past and future use and management of problematic wildlife in sheep production zones.

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Item Type: Book Chapter (Commonwealth Reporting Category B)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Edited proceedings of papers presented at the Conservation Through the Sustainable Use of Wildlife Conference held in Brisbane, Australia 30th August to 1st September 2016.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Institute for Agriculture and the Environment
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Institute for Agriculture and the Environment
Date Deposited: 11 Mar 2020 07:05
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2020 05:04
Uncontrolled Keywords: dingo, sheep, kangaroo, wool, 1080 baiting, drought, lethal control, shooting, cluster fencing, predator fence, Canis lupus dingo, Macropus spp., wild dog, wildlife use, wool industry
Fields of Research (2008): 05 Environmental Sciences > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050211 Wildlife and Habitat Management
Fields of Research (2020): 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410407 Wildlife and habitat management
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): D Environment > 96 Environment > 9604 Control of Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species > 960405 Control of Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species at Regional or Larger Scales

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