Thousands of wild camels roaming the Australian outback are to be hunted and shot by marksmen in helicopters in an effort to protect farmland.
Farmers say the camels put too much strain on water holes
Australian officials say the country's camel population has grown to about 700,000 in recent years.
Camels were introduced to Australia in the 19th Century as desert transport animals, but have grown in number because they have no local predators.
Animal rights campaigners say aerial culling is cruel and unnecessary.
Camels enjoy vast open spaces and plenty of grazing land within Australia's vast outback.
Their numbers are growing by an estimated 11% per year, and population size has been doubling about once every eight years, officials say.
In South Australia, officials estimate that 60,000 camels are grazing near private farmland and vital water supply holes. They say it is placing an extra strain on already scarce resources set aside for sheep and cattle.
Up to 200 camels have been seen drinking from one water hole in the state.
State land officials decided a cull was the most efficient way to manage camel numbers.
"The simplest, quickest and most cost effective way of doing that is an aerial cull," said rural lands inspector Chris Turner.
Marksmen riding in helicopters would track the camels and shoot them from the air, Mr Turner told Australia's ABC radio.
He did not specify how many camels were expected to be culled.
Animal rights campaigners expressed their opposition to the proposals.
"You cannot cleanly kill, instantly kill, humanely kill a moving animal from a moving platform," said Hugh Wirth, national president of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA).
A spokesman for another group, Animals Australia, described the planned cull as a "blood bath".
This is not the first time Australia has felt the need to face down an invasive species.
European rabbits once swarmed across parts of the outback and noxious cane toads brought from South America for pest control are now spreading across the north, killing native wildlife including snakes and small crocodiles.