A GROUND-BREAKING new wild dog sensing and alert system is being developed to help protect livestock by sending real-time messages from remote locations about the presence of dogs, directly to producers and land managers.
The alert system has been developed through the combined efforts of industry, farmers, scientists and government.
Researchers from NSW DPI, led by Dr Greg Falzon, and the University of New England have partnered with Australian Wool Innovation, Meat & Livestock Australia and the Department of Agriculture & Water Resources through the Centre for Invasive Species Solutions, to deliver this new tool.
Wild Dog Alert is a one-stop, solar-powered shop, which detects wild dogs in a 360 degree zone using a tri-sensor system. An in-built camera, recognition software and satellite communication are combined to automate wild dog detection and send alerts as required.
NSW Department of Primary Industries invasive species officer, Paul Meek, said the technology allowed landholders to take instant action after receiving an alert, and work with neighboring properties and wild dog management groups to immediately address issues – not days after wild dogs had caused carnage.
“The aim is to provide another tool for producers in managing wild dogs which helps redress the emotional and financial toll caused by wild dog predation,” Dr Meek said.
“Too often farmers spend sleepless nights not knowing if wild dogs have entered properties or paddocks, putting livestock at risk. It’s all too late to act when they wake to paddocks of dead animals.”
The ‘early warning’ Wild Dog Alert technology offers producers the ability to detect dogs before they attack, at any time of the day and in remote locations.
Dr Meek said the technology aimed to help land managers boost the effectiveness of baiting campaigns and other wild dog control options.
“We are currently testing the components to ensure the device is robust and fit-for-purpose,” he said. “We are doing everything we can to make sure this technology is able to deliver on-farm for livestock producers.”
Researchers propose to have a working prototype Wild Dog Alert system ready for use by June 2019.
Source: NSW DPI