Overabundance of native species harming South Australian biodiversity: inquiry

Source: Xinhua| 2019-07-11 11:41:46|Editor: Xiang Bo
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CANBERRA, July 11 (Xinhua) -- An overabundance of koalas and kangaroos is harming South Australia's biodiversity, a parliamentary inquiry has found.

The Natural Resources Committee (NRC) on Thursday called for the state government to make an immediate decision on culling species such as koalas, kangaroos, corellas and long-nosed fur seals, which it said were having a "deleterious impact" on the environment.

Josh Teague, a Member of Parliament (MP) for the governing Liberal Party and presiding member of the NRC, told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) that an "urgent response" must be developed for overpopulate native and pest species.

"We have a real biodiversity challenge on our hands and we need to manage the problems of overabundance when they occur," he said.

"Each of those (species) will require a specific response guided by the evidence. We must actively educate the community and in turn have a management approach as opposed to a passive 'do nothing' approach," he said.

"That may include culling, the report spells out that's one of the management approaches," he added.

The NRC heard evidence from 12 witnesses and took 44 submissions before making 13 recommendations.

It found that the existing approaches to the issue were confusing, with multiple agencies spending a combined 15.7 million Australian dollars (10.9 million U.S. dollars) per year.

David Paton, an ecology and evolutionary biology expert from the University of Adelaide, told the NRC in a submission that overpopulation was an "imminent threat" to biodiversity.

"(South Australia) may not have a lot of the other biodiversity in this state if you don't manage those kangaroos going forward," he told ABC.