There are 48 species of Macropods (kangaroos) in Australia. Of these only 4 species can be commercially harvested. The populations of kangaroos are estimated every year in each State by highly developed aerial survey techniques. Current populations stand around the 50 million mark. This means there are higher numbers of kangaroos in Australia than there are cattle.
For any kangaroo species to be harvested the conservation authority in the relevant State must have a detailed Management Plan approved by the Federal Department of Environment. These Plans must detail the annual population monitoring and quota setting controls, the controls over the take and they must be renewed every 5 years.
Each year after the population estimate is obtained, each Management Plan will set a maximum allowable take (quota) of typically between 10-15% of total population. The populations fluctuate depending on seasonal conditions, during droughts they can decline, or they can increase dramatically during good seasons as has been the case in recent years. The States Authority will then issue individually and sequentially numbered plastic lockable tags. These tags are designed to ensure that once properly applied any tampering with them will be perfectly obvious.
Through careful management the Australian Kangaroo Industry has developed to its current level where Australia processes millions of tonnes of high quality meat as well as a large range of leather products. Each Australian state that commercially harvests kangaroos must have in place a Federal Government approved management plan. These plans must be updated every 3 years and aerial surveys of the population are conducted every year. After assessing the total populations and trends in population numbers, a sustainable quota is set for the number of kangaroos that can be harvested for that year. Kangaroos are harvested only from primary producing properties in Australia.
For more information visit KIAA.