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Using harvest statistics to monitor temporal variation in kangaroo density and harvest rate

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Pople, A. R., Evans, M.C., Farroway, L., Gilroy, J., Grigg, G., Lundie-Jenkins, G., and Payne, N. (2010) Using harvest statistics to monitor temporal variation in kangaroo density and harvest rate. In: Macropods: the biology of kangaroos, wallabies and rat-kangaroos. CSIRO Publishing, 424 pages.

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Publisher URL: http://www.publish.csiro.au/pid/6187.htm


Management of the commercial harvest of kangaroos relies on quotas set annually as a proportion of regular estimates of population size. Surveys to generate these estimates are expensive and, in the larger states, logistically difficult; a cheaper alternative is desirable. Rainfall is a disappointingly poor predictor of kangaroo rate of increase in many areas, but harvest statistics (sex ratio, carcass weight, skin size and animals shot per unit time) potentially offer cost-effective indirect monitoring of population abundance (and therefore trend) and status (i.e. under-or overharvest). Furthermore, because harvest data are collected continuously and throughout the harvested areas, they offer the promise of more intensive and more representative coverage of harvest areas than aerial surveys do. To be useful, harvest statistics would need to have a close and known relationship with either population size or harvest rate. We assessed this using longterm (11-22 years) data for three kangaroo species (Macropus rufus, M. giganteus and M. fuliginosus) and common wallaroos (M. robustus) across South Australia, New South Wales and Queensland. Regional variation in kangaroo body size, population composition, shooter efficiency and selectivity required separate analyses in different regions. Two approaches were taken. First, monthly harvest statistics were modelled as a function of a number of explanatory variables, including kangaroo density, harvest rate and rainfall. Second, density and harvest rate were modelled as a function of harvest statistics. Both approaches incorporated a correlated error structure. Many but not all regions had relationships with sufficient precision to be useful for indirect monitoring. However, there was no single relationship that could be applied across an entire state or across species. Combined with rainfall-driven population models and applied at a regional level, these relationships could be used to reduce the frequency of aerial surveys without compromising decisions about harvest management.

Item Type:Book Section
Business groups:Biosecurity Queensland
Additional Information:© CSIRO Publishing.
Keywords:Kangaroo; macropods; harvesting; monitoring.
Subjects:Science > Statistics
Science > Zoology > Chordates. Vertebrates > Mammals > Marsupialia. Marsupials > Diprotodontia (Kangaroos, koalas, possums, wombats, bilbies etc)
Live Archive:24 Aug 2010 01:18
Last Modified:08 Dec 2021 23:27

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