There has been a spike in kangaroo field processor jobs in South Australia since the expansion of the state's commercial kangaroo harvest zone six months ago.
South Australia's kangaroo commercial harvest zone expanded on 1 January this year and has seen an increase in kangaroo field processors by 24 per cent to support farmers and humanely manage the state's over-abundant kangaroo population.
The expansion of the harvest zone has helped mitigate the impact of drought starved kangaroo populations migrating further south in search of water and pastures.
The commercial harvest expansion across the state provides an opportunity to use kangaroo carcasses for meat and leather products, rather than wastefully leaving them on the ground as fodder for pests and vermin under the pre-existing arrangements.
Over the past six months, 16 more kangaroo field processers have started working in the industry, with 11 working across the new harvest zones.
More than 8,000 kangaroos have been commercially harvested from the new harvest zones (excluding Kangaroo Island), which means the carcasses have been used for meat or skin production.
It is fantastic to see that the industry has taken up the opportunity to support landholders, as well as grow jobs to sustainably and humanely manage the state's kangaroo population.
Kangaroo Management Reference Group field processor Chad Cowin said it is great to see an increase in kangaroo shooter numbers this year.
"With drought causing lower kangaroo numbers in the north of the state, the new harvest zones are providing greater flexibility and opportunity for the industry to adapt operations to other parts of the state to manage high kangaroo numbers," said Mr Cowin.
The South Australian kangaroo commercial harvest zone expanded on 1 January this year, from only the pastoral areas to cover Yorke Peninsula, Adelaide Hills, Fleurieu Peninsula, South East and Kangaroo Island.
In addition, the species of kangaroo available for commercial harvest now includes three new species, the tammar wallaby, Kangaroo Island sub-species of western grey kangaroo and eastern grey kangaroo, as well as the existing species of red kangaroo, western grey and euro.
Kangaroo commercial harvest zone expansion on Kangaroo Island is on hold due the summer bushfires. An aerial survey is underway to determine an updated count and quota to ensure a sustainable population.