Australia needs to overhaul how "overabundant" kangaroo populations are managed, wildlife experts say.
A statement, endorsed by 25 ecological, conservation, animal welfare and Aboriginal agencies, calls for a National Kangaroo Taskforce made up of governments at every level, private landowners, agriculture and conservation bodies and Indigenous communities.
Maintaining stable kangaroo populations would help to prevent millions of inhumane deaths during droughts, the researchers say.
Australian National University Professor George Wilson said about six million kangaroos and wallabies died of starvation during the last drought in Australia.
"It's not only extremely distressing for the kangaroos that get bogged in limited water supplies during droughts, but it also has a huge mental health toll for the graziers who have to deal with these starving kangaroos that are on the brink of death," he said.
There are about 40 million kangaroos on private land, many of whom are culled as a form of pest control.
"We want to see private landowners bring in professional shooters to ensure roos are put down humanely," Professor Wilson said.
"They take the carcass back to a chiller where shooter accuracy can be checked and the meat and skins harvested instead of going to waste."
Professor Wilson proposes increasing the value of kangaroo meat from $20 to at least $70 a carcass.
"Indigenous communities now own significant areas of pastoral land, as they once did, and we hope they too can become involved with this initiative, particularly in South Australia where properties are flooded with kangaroos," he said.
"They have used kangaroo for millennia and the opportunity exists for them to be employed as professional kangaroo shooters in a sustainable harvest."
Australian Associated Press