Bolstering kangaroo population can cut greenhouse gases

August 11th, 2008 - 10:57 am ICT by IANS  

Sydney, Aug 11 (IANS) Bolstering kangaroo numbers to 175 million by 2020 would lower greenhouse gas emissions by 16 megatonnes, or three percent of Australia’s total emissions. Kangaroos emit only a third of the methane emitted by ruminants like cattle, sheep and goats which account for 60 percent of global methane emissions. Like carbon dioxide, methane is a greenhouse gas that is a real contributor to global warming and climate change.

One of the paper’s co-authors George Wilson, University of New South Wales (UNSW), informed that “sheep and cattle constitute 11 percent of Australia’s total greenhouse gas emissions. Kangaroos, however, produce relatively little methane because they are not ruminants.”

UNSW science dean Mike Archer, a long time advocate for sustainably farming Australian bush tucker, believes that kangaroo can be promoted as a means of increasing human health, wealth and happiness.

“Eating more kangaroo has an incredible array of benefits, for our environment, for dietary health and as a tasty red meat,” he said. “The soft padded feet of kangaroos are far kinder to the land than the hooves of sheep and cattle, which have caused untold damage and consequent land erosion.”

The findings were published in the journal Conservation Letters.

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