Limestone Coast kangaroo survey to take to the skies

SURVEY: Aerial surveys of kangaroo populations in South Australia have been running annually since 1978, covering a survey area of at least 207,000km2.
SURVEY: Aerial surveys of kangaroo populations in South Australia have been running annually since 1978, covering a survey area of at least 207,000km2.

The Limestone Coast's kangaroo population will be surveyed with a light aircraft taking to the sky for the second part of the state-wide kangaroo survey for this year.

Staff from the Department for Environment and Water (DEW) will undertake an aerial survey from September 14-16 to estimate kangaroo populations across the region.

During the two-day survey period, a Cessna 206 will fly east-west survey transects at a low level across parts of South Australia.

Aerial surveys of kangaroo populations in South Australia have been running annually since 1978, covering a survey area of at least 207,000km2.

DEW senior kangaroo ecologist Dr Amanda McLean said that this is the second part of the state-wide kangaroo survey for the year, with the first part focusing on the pastoral region of South Australia.

"The survey allows the department to determine kangaroo response to the recent drought over the pastoral land as well as in the wetter agricultural areas," Dr McLean said.

"Since the expansion of the commercial kangaroo harvest area into the southern parts of the state, the survey is now split into two sections to avoid the rainy and windy conditions during June and July in the south."

The department supplements the aerial survey with predictive population models to determine kangaroo harvest quotas for the five harvest regions across the state.

This is the second year that the Southern Agricultural Harvest Region has been opened for commercial kangaroo harvesting with the expansion already considered a success.

An annual report detailing the previous calendar year's commercial kangaroo harvest is prepared and submitted to the Commonwealth each March.

The report provides information on the previous year's quotas and harvest rates, any use of special quota, and details of research involvement. It also provides details about compliance actions undertaken.