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Wild dogs targeted during the Autumn breeding season

Wild Dog Surveillance ImageA coordinated strategy by North Coast Local Land Services to address wild dog population growth has been implemented over the past months, targeting the peak Autumn wild dog breeding season. 

Wild dog activity levels peak during the autumn breeding season and taking action now provides a greater potential to reduce breeding populations and therefore future impacts.

It is a common belief that the only impacts from wild dogs relate to attacks or deaths of domestic livestock. Unfortunately this is no longer the case with changing land uses and urban sprawl changing the wild dog-human interface. Many landholders now carry out control in areas under horticulture, for protection of wildlife and protection of domestic pets.

North Coast Local Land Services programs follow best practice guidelines by adopting a tenure neutral approach and using a range of control techniques including ground & aerial baiting, trapping and the use of technology.

Dean Chamberlain, Team Leader Invasive Species said, "The tenure neutral approach brings in all land managers such as private landholders, National Parks and Wildlife Service and Forestry Corporation enabling control to be carried out on a landscape level."

The Commonwealth Government Drought Support On-farm Pest Management Grant Program has given North Coast Local Land Services the ability to undertake widespread baiting and trapping programs across the Region along with aerial baiting programs in the Upper Mcleay and Kundabung areas.

Dean continued, "Effective wild dog management involves a combination of control methods and strategies, just one approach in one area won't address the problem.

"With the available funding we have been able to work with land managers on a range of programs that will achieve the best population control.

"It needs to be remembered that wild dog control is all about sustained management, control needs to involve as many land managers as possible and be carried out on a regular basis." he said.

Wild dog surveillance imageIn Kyogle, fifteen groups built on a strong Spring baiting program, extending baiting into Autumn.  The program covered 103 holdings over a total of nearly 20,000 hectares with nearly 1600 meat baits laid. Overall, the two seasonal programs have shown great success in wild dog control with very low reports of impacts in all areas.

In other parts of the region, Autumn baiting undertaken by the long standing Hernani Wild Dog Management Group has proved equally successful.  The Hernani area is situated west of Dorrigo and features large scale cattle farms as the predominant land use with State Forests and National Parks also present.  The Hernani Wild Dog Management Group has been active for a number of years and adopts an 'across landscape' approach to wild dog control.  In this program 25 landholders participated who are responsible for over 25,000 hectares of land and over 700 baits were supplied. A second round of baiting will be carried out in spring to control wild dogs that may have moved back into the area.

Similarly, proving the success of local Wild Dog Management Groups in achieving wild dog control, the Yarras area west of Wauchope, adjacent to Wirribelee National Park involved 22 landholders.  This program covered over 16,500 hectares of land and involved 920 baits.

With ground baiting just one of the weapons in the arsenal of wild dog control, trappers are also used to control wild dogs that may resist baiting.  In Kyogle, a trapper has worked with over 45 properties and trapped nearly 25 wild dogs in the Boomi Creek, Ettrick and Iron Pot Creek regions.  A trapper has also been used in the Kempsey region and has trapped more than 60 dogs since that trapping program commenced late last year.

The North Coast region's large land masses, covering Crown Lands, National Parks and Forestry estates, often make trapping or ground baiting difficult or ineffective.  A comprehensive aerial baiting program was undertaken over fifteen localities in the Upper Macleay and Kundabung areas to overcome these challenges.  Over 121 km of land was baited with 5000 baits, covering private land (52 km), NPWS (11 km) and Forestry Corporation NSW Estates (58 km).

 "North Coast Local Land Services Biosecurity Officers work with new and existing individuals and landholder groups, with the aim of increasing participation in wild dog control programs across the region." said Dean.

"The wider community benefit greatly from the efforts of those who actively and regularly partake in pest animal control and we will continue to support their efforts", he added.

"We encourage all interested landholders to contact their local North Coast Local Land Services office to find out how to be involved", he said.

Media contact:           Dean Chamberlain, Team Leader, Invasive Species Phone 0427 458 590

Photo captions:         Wild Dog images captured with remote cameras.