A COORDINATED strategy by North Coast Local Land Services to address wild dog population growth has been implemented over the past months, targetting the peak autumn breeding season.
Wild dog activity levels peak during autumn taking action then provides a greater potential to reduce breeding populations and therefore future impacts.
Wild dogs are considered a serious pest in Australia attacking livestock and native animals, potentially spreading diseases and threatening human health, safety and wellbeing. Wild dog attacks on livestock and pets, lethal or otherwise, also cause emotional distress to landholders.
North Coast Local Land Services supports landholder groups with a range of control techniques including ground baiting, trapping and the use of technology, including monitoring with remote cameras.
“The most effective approach for controlling wild dogs brings together all land managers in a coordinated approach - wild dogs don’t respect human boundaries which is why it’s important for all land managers to work together,” invasive species team leader Dean Chamberlain said.
“Effective wild dog management involves understanding how wild dogs function within a landscape and then using the appropriate control methods, this could be baiting, trapping, Canid Pest Ejectors (CPE) shooting or a combination of these.
“North Coast Local Land Services Biosecurity Officers have been working hard to encourage land managers to work together with the aim of increasing participation in wild dog control programs across the region.
“Over the past three years that effort is starting to see results with more land managers getting involved in group programs, rather than just trying to tackle the problem on their own.
“We now have more than 65 coordinated groups involved in our autumn campaign covering nearly 420 properties and 265,000 hectares of land and this coverage represents an important shift in our ability to control the wild dog population on the North Coast."
It is also important for land managers to be trained in wild dog control techniques and North Coast Local Land Services offers regular Vertebrate Pest Training programs (VPT). The three hour VPT course gives landholders a clear understanding of 1080 and Pindone use and the legal obligations that apply. North Coast Local Land Services also offers a two-hour Canid Pest Ejector (CPE) course that only needs to be completed once and allows land managers to add CPEs to their wild dog control toolbox.
The training is delivered by biosecurity officers from North Coast Local Land Services and covers topics such as baiting techniques, toxicity, storage, transport, legislation and WH&S. On completion of the VPT course participants will be issued a certification card and remain accredited to use 1080 and Pindone for five years.
"The wider community benefit greatly from the efforts of those who are active and regularly partake in pest animal control and we will continue to support their efforts", Dean said.
Spring is also a high activity time as calving gets into full swing and wild dogs begin teaching adolescents the finer points of survival, and this often involves attacks on calves and smaller livestock. Land managers should continually monitor wild dogs and carry out control if they are present and not wait for attacks on livestock or domestic pets.
All interested landholders are encouraged to contact their local North Coast Local Land Services office to find out how to be involved.