Reuters blog archive
from Photographers' Blog:
By David Gray
I met Steven O’Donnell at his house in the outer suburbs of Canberra just before dusk. He had agreed to take me on what can be described as one of Australia’s most unpopular and controversial activities – kangaroo shooting.
By day Steve is a professional plumber, but by night he is a government-licensed kangaroo shooter whose job is to annually cull the kangaroo population, which is estimated at over 50 million. When we met Steve was quick to explain why the thousands of Eastern Grey Kangaroos, known locally as "roos" in the Australian Capital Territory, had to be culled. Mobs of kangaroos can quickly damage the environment and compete with livestock for scarce food, impacting the livelihood of farmers.
But Steve's main argument that stood out most in my mind was this: "After Europeans settled in Australia some 220 years ago, they chopped down millions of trees, and created much more grassland which the kangaroos have thrived on. As a result, their numbers have increased dramatically, and so in order to keep the natural balance for the environment to be sustainable (especially during a drought), their numbers have to be reduced. So actually, it's our fault."
I have heard many people say kangaroos are in "plague proportions", but precise numbers vary dramatically depending on who you ask. According to government reports however, around 5 million kangaroos are culled or killed for commercial quotas each year, a small percentage of the estimated 50 million.
Dish Network went kangaroo-crazy at this year's CES. Not only did a mascot in a kangaroo suit greet attendees at its press conference, but CEO Joe Clayton took to the stage cradling a wallaby, which resembles a small kangaroo.
Whilst Clayton cuddled the marsupial, someone whispered in the audience: "Does PETA know about this?"
from Environment Forum:
Ask many Japanese about whaling and they explain it's part of their culture. After all, Japan is surrounded by the ocean and whaling and fishing have been part of Japan for many centuries.
During a recent visit to Japan, several Japanese friends and colleagues were puzzled, indeed annoyed, by Western media coverage of Japan's scientific whaling in Antarctic waters earlier this year and thought the stories were hostile and uninformed.