August 13, 2007 Past Issues No Comments

Wildlife Queensland wants to stop licensed killing of whiptail

Whiptail wallaby and joey Photo © Michael Snedic

Whiptail wallaby and joey
Photo © Michael Snedic

wallabies. Current state government culling licences allow the wallaby, also known as the pretty face wallaby, to be harvested commercially.

Why not cull whiptails?

Whiptail wallabies are losing their habitat. The wallaby likes forested areas on undulating land in coastal and subcoastal northern NSW and Queensland. These areas are increasingly affected by urban development.

Whiptail wallabies are found in fewer places. We know that the NSW range of the wallaby has reduced in the last half century. The drought in eastern Australia is also limiting numbers.

The number of wallabies being killed is fewer. In 1979 (the last year before quotas were introduced) 53 900 were taken. Since then the number harvested has dropped. By the mid 1990s, annual takes were fewer than 1000 and as low as 190 (2002). This indicates a drop in whiptail wallaby populations.

Exporting wallaby skins is banned. In 2003 the federal government removed whiptail wallaby products from the list of permitted exports. These wallaby products are therefore limited in their economic value.

Culling in Queensland……Federal and state governments believe culling demonstrates that, when managed effectively, the wildlife products trade contributes to and is entirely compatible with the objectives of wildlife conservation. The Queensland Nature Conservation (Macropod) Conservation Plan 2005 provides for the ecologically sustainable use of macropods as a renewable resource under a system of licensing allowing the use of macropods to be scientifically monitored.

The cull quotas for mainland kangaroos are set at a proportion of estimated populations, established by the individual states. All quotas are set on an annual basis. Currently, the Queensland EPA licences culling of eastern grey kangaroo, wallaroo, whiptail wallaby and red kangaroo for a limited annual period. Kangaroos and wallabies are harvested by professional shooters.

Why cull whiptails?

State government regulations allow up to 25 000 whiptail wallabies to be shot each year for their skins, for commercial use.

See side box to find out more about the licensed killing of macropods (kangaroos and wallabies) in Queensland.

What WPSQ is doing

Position paper. Wildlife Queensland has prepared a briefing paper that outlines why the licenses that allow this culling should be revoked. The position paper is based on research that includes the points outlined above.

Encouraging government change. Wildlife Queensland will voice its position at two government decision-making meetings in spring 2007: the Macropod Industry Forum (August 2007) and the Macropod Advisory Committee meeting (September 2007).

Wildlife Queensland has made submissions since 2004 to the state government advocating that the whiptail wallaby be removed from the harvest list.

More information on the whiptail wallaby.

For more information on WPSQ’s campaigns, email or phone +61 (7) 3221 0194.

Wildlife Queensland, August 2007

Written by Wildlifeqld