More areas targeted in wild dog offensive across the Southern Downs
Southern Downs Regional Council and landholders have enjoyed successful wild dog control and subsequent reduction in wild dog impacts in much of the region, but serious impacts are still being felt in others, such as the Main Range area, Karara, Mt Tully and Pikes Creek.
Council is set to target inaccessible strategic wild dog breeding and dispersal areas in Council’s upcoming aerial 1080 baiting program, on May 2 and 3.
Southern Downs Manager Environmental Services, Mr Tim O’Brien said Council’s Invasive Pests Strategic Plan 2016 – 2020 requires landholders in relevant areas to actively participate in best practice wild dog control.
“For most, that means participation in Council-run coordinated 1080 ground baiting programs.
“For those landholders in identified strategic habitat and dispersal areas that are inaccessible by ground, it means participation in Council’s aerial baiting program,” said Mr O’Brien.
Council has been fortunate to secure funding to deliver strategic aerial baiting of inaccessible wild dog habitat, predominantly in the traprock sheep and wool growing region, over the past two years. This program has been very successful in reducing wild dog impacts on sheep and has had added benefits to native wildlife.
Mr Craig Magnussen, Council Pest Management Officer, highlighted that prior to the introduction of aerial baiting, landholders in the Goldfields locality were typically losing 200 – 300 sheep per year to wild dogs.
“Losses are now negligible. We have a series of remote cameras established at strategic locations to alert us to when dispersing wild dogs from further afield may be moving into previously baited country.
“Excitingly, we have seen a marked increase in the number and variety of native wildlife captured on camera in these areas, such as quolls, koalas, scrub turkeys and lyre birds.
“We believe this shows that aerial baiting is also beneficial to wildlife by removing introduced predators such as wild dogs, foxes and cats,” Mr Magnussen said.
Council’s Pest Management Officer Mr James Eastwell was enthusiastic about the prospect of bringing aerial baiting to areas such as Main Range that have traditionally provided breeding harbour for wild dogs.
“Council is encouraging participation in best practice control from all landholders, regardless of whether they run stock or not.
“Some landholders may not be aware they have wild dogs living on or travelling through their land, but all have a responsibility to undertake control.
“Aerial baiting is all about putting baits in the areas where wild dogs are likely to encounter them and with so much habitat in this area, we need to be comprehensive,” said Mr Eastwell.
Funding for the Southern Downs Regional Council Queensland Feral Pest Initiative project is provided through the Queensland Government to support the growth of a productive and prosperous food and fibre sector in Queensland. Funding has also been provided through the Australian Government Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper, the Australian Government’s plan for stronger farmers and a stronger economy. The project is being delivered in partnership with Goondiwindi Regional Council, Granite Borders Landcare Committee and Biosecurity Queensland.
For further information about pest animal management, please contact Council’s Pest Management Officers on 1300 MY SDRC (1300 697 372) or visit Council’s website.
Strategic, inaccessible wild dog habitat and dispersal areas will be targeted within these localities of Southern Downs Regional Council
Wild dogs captured by motion cameras