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All you wanted to know about Kangaroo Leather

Explaining the Incredible Tensile Strength of Kangaroo Leather

Kangaroo Leather is widely accepted as being one of the strongest lightweight leathers available.  However, the reasons for this incredible strength are not widely appreciated.

When split into thinner substances, kangaroo retains considerably more of the original tensile strength than does calf.  When split to 20% of the original thickness kangaroo retains between 30 - 60% of the tensile strength of the unsplit hide.  Calf retains only 1 - 4% of the original strength.

Kangaroo has been shown to have a highly uniform orientation of fiber bundles in parallel with the skin surface.  It does not contain sweat glands or erector pili.  Muscle and elastin is evenly distributed throughout the skin thickness.  This structural uniformity explains both the greater tensile strength of the whole leather and the greater retention of strength in splits.

Taken from an article in Newr Journal of the Australian Kangaroo Industry.

Kangaroo Harvesting

Kangaroos are the most often seen and well known of Australia’s wild animals.  Some widespread and abundant types of kangaroos are harvested commercially.  This helps solve the problems that large umbers of kangaroos can cause farmers and grazers.  In this way, best commercial use is made of a natural resource.

Why Harvest Kangaroos?

Certain species of kangaroo are so common in some areas that they cause major damage to farming properties.  In large numbers they can ruin crops and damage fences.  They also compete with livestock for food and water.   Landholders can lose income as a result.  Commercial harvesting lessens the risk at no cost to the landowner.  Increasingly kangaroos are being seen as a valuable natural resource for their meat and skins – rather than a possible rural problem.  Harvesting kangaroos can change a problem into an important and valuable part of a farm’s income and management.

How Kangaroos are Harvested

Kangaroo harvests are carried out by licensed shooters.  With the landlord’s consent, the shooters work on these properties where authorities consider kangaroos are causing damage.  The carcasses of harvested animals are sold to a processor, who then sells the meat and the skins to markets in Australia and overseas.  Most of the skins are sent to tanneries and leatherworkers.  Commercial harvesting does not occur in national parks or conservation reserves and quotas are set to limit the number of kangaroos that can be harvested each year.

The future of Kangaroo Management

Australia’s Federal, State, and Territorial Governments are committed to protecting and conserving all kangaroo species over their natural range.  Current harvesting practices have many advantages over other kangaroo control measures.  Acceptance of kangaroos as a valuable natural resource to be managed, rather than as a pest to be eliminated, leads to landowners managing their land to carry more kangaroos on their property.


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