For the past 42 years the Department for Environment and Water (DEW) has carried out annual aerial kangaroo surveys across South Australia – but this year for the first time the aerial survey will be supported by predictive population models to determine harvest quotas for kangaroos across the state.
The aerial survey is due to begin on Monday 15 June and is expected to continue until Friday 10 July.
During this time, the DEW Cessna 206 will fly east-west survey transects at a low level across parts of the State.
DEW spokesperson Anthony Freebairn said the aerial survey will cover the North East Pastoral, Eastern Districts and South Flinders harvest sub-regions, as well as the newly opened Yorke Mid North, Kangaroo Island, Upper and Lower South East sub-regions.
“The kangaroo surveys will cover a reduced area this year in accordance with the recently adopted South Australian Commercial Kangaroo Management Plan 2020-2024,” Mr Freebairn said.
“This year, for the first time since the aerial survey was introduced in 1978, the department is using a combination of aerial survey data and predictive population models to inform kangaroo harvest quotas.
“The population models have been developed in collaboration with the University of Adelaide, and are based on long-term survey data and climatic variables, such as rainfall.
“Using models to predict population numbers for some harvest subregions where we have long-term data will enable the survey team to concentrate their efforts on the newly opened harvest areas.
“Harvest sub-regions with traditionally high harvest will continue to be surveyed annually, but other sub-regions will be surveyed on a less frequent rotational basis.”