This picture was sent to me by a Hobart resident who tells me it was taken on the East Derwent Highway at Risdon, a few days after the dead fox appeared on the roadside at Glen Esk near Conara.

In the 1990s Tasmania had a ‘new industry’ promoted by DPIW — Emu farming. Commercial products from these big birds included meat, leather, feathers and oil. After an initial spurt of growth the Emu industry folded and not unexpectedly there were then reports of farmed emus being released and discovered ranging freely in various parts of Tasmania.

These big birds can became dangerous nuisances when they invade confined places like urban gardens and backyards; the free-range Emus on Maria Island were notorious at demolishing open tents!

So, do we also have any ‘hotspots’ where mainland Emus have gone feral and breeding? Or are they just the odd ‘pet’ Emu that has escaped or been released?

Was this Emu killed on the East Derwent Highway near Risdon or did someone just dump it there to look like an unusual road kill?

Did the authorities bother to investigate that unusual wildlife road kill incident too?

These are large birds with very characteristic soft pat like turds and distinctive three-toed foot prints. What do the locals know? How many free-ranging Emus are there in Tasmania? And where might feral Emus ‘get lucky’ in Tasmania?

David Obendorf

Do we have yet another introduced species that’s gone feral in Tasmania?

This time it’s a mega-fauna and we’ve already successfully exterminated its smaller Tassie cousin.