What is killing our kangaroos? Millions of roos wiped out by mystery disease that causes massive haemorrhages and internal bleeding

 

  • Wildlife experts finding kangaroos dying as a result of ‘massive hemorrhaging
  • Scientists have recorded a ‘substantial drop’ in roo numbers from 2016 to 2017
  • Figures have left experts baffled, in search of an explanation for killer disease
  • Kangaroo population has more than doubled since they were recorded in 2010 

A mysterious illness has been killing millions of kangaroos which has left experts scratching their heads.

In NSW, wildlife researchers have found the red and grey varieties of kangaroos have died as a result of massive ­hemorrhaging and internal bleeding around the joints.

‘You would see a whole family sitting there but they were all dead,’ veterinarian Greg Curran told The Australian.

‘It’s a disease, it’s not a genetic problem. We haven’t been able to find a bacteria, we haven’t been able to find a virus.

“The drop is so great it can’t simply be due to culling rates. The number of ­animals that have been harvested for the meat market is low. It can’t possibly be starvation or malnutrition,’ Dr Curren added.

Steve McLeod, a NSW ­Department of Primary Industries senior research scientist told the publication there had been a ‘substantial drop in the number of kangaroos from 2016 to 2017, especially on the Western Plains.

The kangaroo population in NSW reached 17.4 million last year – more than double the population in 2010.

Greys in the state dropped to 3.85 million from 6.33 million, while reds dropped by 1.2 million to 5.13 million.

Dr Curran, a former NSW Department of Primary Industry veterinarian, has been studying the decline for years.

“To have something like this where the best people have worked on it for decades and haven’t gotten to the bottom of it… any disease that can claim 40 per cent is worth understanding,’ he said.

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By | 2018-01-12T13:18:14+00:00 January 12th, 2018|

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