The Aboriginal people lived in harmony with the land for tens of thousands
Loss of habitat plus the introduction of foxes and rabbits have all had a damaging impact on the native animals
KANGAROOS KILLED for MEAT and SKINS
The number of kangaroos killed for profit is the largest number of native animals killed in any country in the world.
Around four million (sometimes more) kangaroos are killed for profit each year. That's around 10,000 adult kangaroos every night plus their pouched and at-foot young. The species killed on the mainland are the Red, Eastern Grey and Western Grey Kangaroos and Wallaroos (also called Euros). They are killed for their skins to make leather products like shoes, for their fur and for meat and for pet food.
Many people think that the kangaroos that are killed are farmed animals but this is not true. Kangaroos are wild animals that cannot be fenced, herded or transported without stress, serious injury or death. The kangaroos that are killed are wild animals shot at night in the Australian bush.
When a shooter kills a female kangaroo with a joey in her pouch he pulls the joey out of the pouch and kills it too. He also kills the at-foot joeys that are too big for the pouch. A shooter is not allowed to sell the skins or fur of joeys and the joeys cannot survive on their own without their mother. The joeys often run away in fright when their mother is killed and die alone or are caught by a predator.
Many farmers apply each year for licences to shoot kangaroos on their property because they say they are 'pests' on their land.
Gilbert's Potoroo is critically endangered and is Australia's rarest mammal. It is estimated that there are only 30 to 40 animals left in the single known wild population and 40 to 50 animals in two conservation colonies.
AUSTRALIA HAS MORE ENDANGERED SPECIES
You can learn more about kangaroos and have fun doing lots of puzzles in the book - Kangaroo Footprints.
Copyright © 2010 - 2013 Margaret Warner
All images are copyright and may not be reproduced without permission