Commercial harvesting of Kangaroos in Australia

by Tony Pople and Gordon Grigg
Department of Zoology, The University of Queensland
for Environment Australia, August 1999
Chapters 10,11,12 and 13 and Appendix 1 provided by staff at Environment Australia

Table 1. Australian Macropodoidea, their conservation status, likely change since white settlement and suggested reasons for the change. (From Calaby and Grigg, 1989)

FAMILY POTOROIDAE (POTOROOS, BETTONGS AND RAT-KANGAROOS)

Scientific Name Common Name Status Pest Destruction Sometimes? Commercial Use ? Change Since Settlement Suggested Reasons
Hypsiprymnodon moschatus Musky Rat-Kangaroo Common, limited - - Range reduced Rainforest clearing in North Qld.
Potorous tridactylus Long-nosed Potoroo Common, limited - - Range reduced Clearing of east coast forests
Potorous platyops Broad-faced Potoroo Extinct - - Extinction Unknown
Potorous longipes Long-footed Potoroo Rare, endangered - - Unknown Habitat possibly threatened by wood pulp industry
Bettongia penicillata Brush-tailed Bettong Rare, endangered (1) - - Range reduced severely Land clearing and impact of grazing animals, foxes ?
Bettongia tropica Tropical Bettong Limited, vulnerable - - Range reduced ?
Bettongia gaimardi Tasmanian Bettong Common, limited - - Extinction on mainland, common in Tasmania Fox predation on mainland, habitat change
Bettongia lesueur Burrowing Bettong Limited vulnerable (WA islands) - - Extinction on mainland Rabbits, foxes, cats
Aepyprymnus rufescens Rufous Bettong (or Rat-Kangaroo) Common - - Range reduced Land clearing, grazing, foxes
Caloprymnus compestris Desert Rat-Kangaroo Presumed extinct - - Extinction? Unknown

FAMILY MACROPODOIDEA (KANGAROOS AND WALLABIES)

HARE-WALLABIES

Scientific Name Common Name Status Pest Destruction Sometimes? Commercial Use ? Change Since Settlement Suggested Reasons
Lagorchestes leporides Eastern Hare-Wallaby Extinct - - Extinction Grazing
Lagorchestes conspicillatus Spectacled Hare-Wallaby Common (Qld) elsewhere common to rare, abundant Barrow Island - - Decline on mainland Grazing
Lagorchestes hirsutus Rufous Hare-Wallaby Rare, vulnerable - - Range severely reduced Grazing, changed wildfire regime
Lagorchestes asomatus Central Hare-Wallaby Extinct - - Extinction  
Lagostrophus fasciatus Banded Hare-Wallaby Vulnerable, limited to two WA islands - - Extinction on mainland  

NAILTAIL WALLABIES

Scientific Name Common Name Status Pest Destruction Sometimes? Commercial Use ? Change Since Settlement Suggested Reasons
Onychogalea unguifera Northern Nailtail Common - - Local reductions in numbers Grazing
Onychogalea fraenata Bridled Nailtail Endangered Yes - Range severely reduced pastoral industry, clearing of habitat
Onychogalea lunata Crescent Nailtail Presumed extinct - - Decline to extinction ?

ROCK-WALLABIES

Scientific Name Common Name Status Pest Destruction Sometimes? Commercial Use ? Change Since Settlement Suggested Reasons
Petrogale lateralis Black-Footed Rock-Wallaby Vulnerable, scattered - - Range reduction Foxes, farming
Petrogale penicillata Brush-Tailed Rock-Wallaby Common Yes - Range reduction Foxes
Petrogale inornata Unadorned Rock-Wallaby Common - - Unknown  
Petrogale assimilis Allied Rock -Wallaby Common - - Probably little change  
Petrogale godmani Godman’s Rock-Wallaby Vulnerable - - Unknown  
Petrogale rothschildi Rothschild’s Rock-Wallaby Common, limited - - Unknown  
Petrogale xanthopus Yellow-Footed Rock-Wallaby Vulnerable, limited - Little in 19th century Range considerably reduced Land clearing, goats, grazing
Petrogale persephone Proserpine Rock-Wallaby Rare, endangered - - Unknown May be threatened by 'natural' circumstances
Petrogale brachyotis Short-Eared Rock-Wallaby Common - - Probably little change  
Petrogale burbidgei Warabi Common, limited - - Little or none  
Petrogale concinna Nabarlek, Little Rock-Wallaby Common in restricted area of occurrence - - Little or none  

Note: extinction of rock-wallabies (?P.lateralis) on some offshore islands by hunting and ?foxes.

PADEMELONS

Scientific Name Common Name Status Pest Destruction Sometimes? Commercial Use ? Change Since Settlement Suggested Reasons
Thylogale stigmatica Red-Legged Pademelon Common - - Range reduction Clearing of rainforest
Thylogale billardierii Tasmanian Pademelon Abundant Yes Yes Extinction on mainland, prob. Increase in Tasmania Unknown, clearing for agriculture adjacent to forest
Thylogale thetis Red-Necked Pademelon Common Yes (but not legally) No Local eruptions Clearing for agriculture adjacent to forest

TYPICAL WALLABIES AND KANGAROOS

Scientific Name Common Name Status Pest Destruction Sometimes? Commercial Use ? Change Since Settlement Suggested Reasons
Macropus parma Parma Wallaby Secure, scattered - - Range reduction Vulnerable to forest clearing
Macropus eugenii Tammar Wallaby Common, limited Sometimes on Kangaroo Island Yes (2) Range severely reduced Land clearing for wheat, foxes
Macropus greyi Toolache Wallaby Extinct Yes? Scalp bounty - Extinction Hunting, foxes. Used for coursing
Macropus irma Western Brush Wallaby Common - - Population decline Land clearing, foxes
Macropus parryi Whiptail Wallaby Common Yes Yes (Qld) Local eruptions Grazer, benefited from grassland increase
Macropus dorsalis Black-Striped Wallaby Common Yes (Qld) Yes (Qld) (2) Range reduction, but local eruptions (Qld) Agriculture, grazing
Macropus rufogriseus Red-Necked or Bennett’s Wallaby Common Yes Yes (Tas & Qld (2)) Little change, local eruptions Agriculture
Macropus agilis Agile Wallaby Abundant Yes (Qld) No Little change or increase Pastoral industry
Macropus giganteus Eastern Grey Kangaroo Abundant Yes Yes Increase in numbers and possibly range Pastoral industry, land clearing and dingo destruction
Macropus fuliginosus Western Grey Kangaroo Abundant Yes Yes Increase in numbers and possibly range Pastoral industry
Macropus robustus Common Wallaroo Abundant Yes Yes Little change or increase Pastoral industry
Macropus antilopinus Antilopine Wallaroo Common - - Little change or increase Pastoral industry
Macropus bernardus Black Wallaroo Restricted - - Little change  
Macropus rufus Red Kangaroo Abundant Yes Yes Increase in numbers and possibly range Pastoral industry incl. Dingo destruction and provision of water

*Commercial harvesting discontinued.

ANOMALOUS WALLABIES

Scientific Name Common Name Status Pest Destruction Sometimes? Commercial Use ? Change Since Settlement Suggested Reasons
Setonix brachyurus Quokka Vulnerable, limited - - Range reduced ?
Wallabia bicolor Swamp Wallaby Common Yes (Qld) Yes (Qld) (2) Little change, local eruptions  

TREE-KANGAROOS

Scientific Name Common Name Status Pest Destruction Sometimes? Commercial Use ? Change Since Settlement Suggested Reasons
Dendrolagus lumholtzi Lumholz’s Tree-Kangaroo Vulnerable, limited - - Range severely reduced Clearing of rainforests
Dendrolagus bennettianus Bennett’s Tree-Kangaroo Vulnerable, limited - - Range reduced Clearing of rainforests

(1) The 1996 Action Plan for Australian Marsupials and Monotremes lists Bettongia penicillata under the IUCN Red List category of Lower Risk (conservation dependant).

(2) Commercial harvesting has been discontinued.