Topics > Plants & animals > Sustainable use of animals and plants

Kangaroo conservation and management

Kangaroo numbers have increased substantially since European settlement, with some populations now overabundant. Many kangaroos have benefitted from increased access to water, grazing land and the removal of their main predator, the dingo. High abundance of kangaroos are causing adverse impacts on South Australia’s ecosystems, human activities, public safety due to increased traffic accidents and on the welfare of individual animals, in particular during times with dry weather conditions.

In some circumstances, kangaroos may need to be managed to protect biodiversity, people and property. Implementing kangaroo management may protect the welfare of kangaroos themselves, as kangaroos may starve due to a lack of food during times of dry weather conditions, or may be injured in car collisions when travelling to find food or water.

All common kangaroo species are protected, and their management provided for, by the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972 and associated regulations. The department encourages the use of non-lethal methods, such as using fencing and limiting access to water, to manage kangaroo impacts. However, kangaroos may also be managed commercially through the kangaroo industry by permitted kangaroo field processors, and non-commercially through Permits to Destroy Wildlife applied for by landholders. Animal welfare is very important to the Department, both commercial and non-commercial shooters must adhere to their respective code of practice when destroying kangaroos.

South Australian Commercial Kangaroo Management Plan 2020-2024

To guide the ecologically sustainable management of commercially harvested kangaroos in South Australia, the department developed the South Australian Commercial Kangaroo Management Plan 2020-2024 in consultation with conservation and animal welfare groups, land managers, regulatory and peak bodies, the kangaroo industry and the community. A feedback report detailing how the consultation shaped the plan was also developed. The implementation of this management plan is overseen by the Kangaroo Management Reference Group.

Have your say on the draft 2025–2029 Management Plan

Public consultation is now open on the draft South Australian Commercial Kangaroo Management plan 2025–2029.

The plan is reviewed and updated every 5 years, ensuring it is based on the best available scientific knowledge and management practices.

Learn more and have your say by visiting the South Australian Government’s YourSAy platform.

Consultation closes Sunday, September 15, 2024.

Statewide Commercial Kangaroo Harvest

As of 1 January 2020, the commercial kangaroo harvest area covers the entire state, excluding metropolitan Adelaide and the Alinytjara Wilurara region for cultural reasons.

To find out if your property is in the harvest area, and if so, in which harvest sub-region, visit NatureMaps and follow these instructions.

The following common and impact-causing kangaroo species are available for harvest (as of 1 January 2020):

  • Red kangaroo (Macropus rufus)
  • Western grey kangaroo (M. fuliginosus), which includes the mainland subspecies (M. fuliginosus melanops) and the Kangaroo Island subspecies (M. fuliginosus fuliginosus)
  • Eastern grey kangaroo (M. giganteus)
  • Euro (M. robustus)
  • Tammar wallaby (M. eugenii), excluding mainland populations.

How can I get involved?

If you’re interested in becoming a Kangaroo Field Processor, check out the factsheet for field processors and permit information.

If you’re interested in finding a Kangaroo Field Processor to assist with kangaroo management on your property, check out the factsheet for landholders.

Still can’t find what you’re looking for? Contact your local DEW Regional Office for more information.