Kangaroo management

The main goal of our kangaroo management program is conservation. We work to ensure that kangaroo populations are harvested in a humane and ecologically sustainable way.

We are responsible for protecting, conserving and managing all wildlife. Native animals are protected in New South Wales by the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 (BC Act). Under the BC Act, it is an offence to harm, shoot, buy or sell kangaroos for commercial purposes without a licence.

Kangaroo management program

The kangaroo management program works to maintain ecologically sustainable populations of certain kangaroo species. We manage and regulate the commercial harvesting of 4 species of kangaroo:

  1. Eastern grey (Macropus giganteus)
  2. Western grey (Macropus fuliginosus)
  3. Red (Macropus rufus)
  4. Wallaroo (Macropus robustus ssp robustus).

To manage the commercial harvesting of kangaroos we:

  • issue licences for the commercial harvesting and processing of kangaroos 
  • monitor kangaroo populations 
  • establish sustainable harvesting quotas provide tags to licenced harvesters 
  • report to the public 
  • conduct research into kangaroo management practices. 

The kangaroo management program issues licences for commercial harvesting and processing only.

Commercial kangaroo harvest management

The goal of our kangaroo management program is to maintain ecologically sustainable populations of kangaroos throughout their ranges and humane harvesting practices for animal welfare.

The program is guided by the NSW Commercial Kangaroo Harvest Management Plan 2017–2021, approved by the Commonwealth Minister for Environment and Energy on 13 December 2016. This approval is valid from 1 January 2017 until 31 December 2021 and includes several conditions that are listed on the declaration.

The NSW Commercial Kangaroo Harvest Management Plan sets out the licensing and monitoring requirements for the commercial harvest of kangaroos for meat and skins. The management plan relates only to the commercial harvest of red kangaroo, eastern grey kangaroo, western grey kangaroo and wallaroo.

Kangaroo management zones and quotas

Expansion of the South East NSW kangaroo management zone

In June 2018, the NSW Government announced changes to the way kangaroos are managed as part of a package of drought relief measures (PDF 228KB).

Under the changes, the current South East NSW kangaroo management zone will be extended to include nearby areas currently restricted to non-commercial culling of kangaroos for damage mitigation purposes. Expansion is expected to occur during 2019. Until then, the current South East kangaroo management zone applies.

The commercial harvest area of New South Wales is divided into kangaroo management zones. Kangaroo management zones are used to allocate and issue harvesting quotas. A quota limits the number of kangaroos of each species that can be harmed commercially in any kangaroo management zone.

We monitor kangaroo populations so that we can estimate the future number and type of kangaroos in each kangaroo management zone. We use the population estimates to calculate the quotas for the next year, in accordance with the management plan.

The commercial harvest of kangaroos is prohibited within national parks and other reserved areas, and can only be undertaken on private landholdings with the written permission of the landholder (owner or occupier/manager).

For more information on kangaroo management zones and population quotas in New South Wales, see the NSW Commercial Kangaroo Harvest Management Plan 2017–2021 or contact the Kangaroo Management Program Team.

Licences

You need a licence to shoot kangaroos and to buy, sell or process kangaroo carcasses for commercial purposes.

Types of commercial licences

There are two types of commercial licences: 

Commercial Harvester (Kangaroo) Licences authorise people with valid firearm licences and accreditations to shoot kangaroos and sell the carcasses, in accordance with licence conditions and a valid commercial tag advice.

Animal Dealer (Kangaroo) Licences authorise licensees to process and deal in (buy, sell, import, export) kangaroo carcasses obtained from a licensed harvester.

Licences for harvesting skins only are prohibited in New South Wales.

All types of licences are valid until 31 December in the year of issue.

Each licence type has conditions attached, and licensees must submit activity reports (returns) to the Kangaroo Management Program Team for monitoring purposes.

Non-commercial licences

Non-commercial licences are not issued by the kangaroo management program.

Non-commercial licences to harm kangaroos for the purposes of damage mitigation and public safety are issued by National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) area offices. Non-commercial licences are still available in a commercial harvest zone.

The carcasses of kangaroos culled under non-commercial licences cannot be sold, swapped or traded.

Non-commercial applications need to be submitted to the appropriate (NPWS) Area office that manages the region the property is located within.