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Autumn breeding season brings increased wild dog activity

Autumn may be providing us with a welcome break from the heat of summer but it also signals the time when wild dog activity increases as wild dogs go in search of a breeding partner and establish territories which can be defended aggressively, often to the detriment of domestic dogs who are seen as a threat or encroaching on the wild dogs territory.

Wild dog attacks on domestic dogs are generally serious, inflicting major injuries and in many cases death. Many of these attacks occur very close to home with domestic dogs being attacked on the chain or in the house yard.

Wild dog sightings, howling and attacks are expected to increase over the autumn period and it is now during the cooler months through to spring that landholders need to proactive with wild dog control programs in order to minimise attacks on domestic dogs, livestock and many vulnerable native species.

North Coast Local Land Services is asking landholders affected by wild dog attacks to report attacks to local biosecurity staff and to help reduce attacks either by working with existing wild dog control groups or forming new groups, if needed.

Reporting may seem an incidental part of control but this information allows effective targeting of control measures and when incorporated into the Local Land Services mapping system it also assists Wild Dog Control Groups to identify gaps in control so they can engage the relevant landholders to improve future control programs.

North Coast Local Land Services facilitates landscape scale programs that follow best practice guidelines by encouraging landholders, which includes land managers such as NPWS and Forestry Corporation, to carry out control across tenures using a coordinated approach. The use of 1080 wild dog baits is the most cost effective method to control wild dogs but like any control method much of the success is dependent on the skills of the user.

Dean Chamberlain, Team Leader Invasive Species, said, “North Coast Local Land Services provides a free Vertebrate Pest Training (VPT) course to landholders which provides participants with information relevant to the available control methods and practical skills to improve wild dog control.

“The VPT course has been provided to over 1,000 landholders since it began in 2010 and, as it provides a five year accreditation, previous participants should check to see if their training is still current and contact their local biosecurity about updating the qualification if required.

“Biosecurity officers across the region are currently working with coordinators from wild dog groups across the region to plan wild dog control programs through the autumn and spring periods and I would encourage landholders to become involved in local programs.”

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

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

Photo caption:           Wild dogs caught on surveillance camera.