The country’s largest wild dog research project is underway at Glen Innes in NSW, where scientists and local landholders are working together to explore the most effective rates for aerial baiting.
The $1.33 million NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) project, funded by Australian Wool Innovation and the Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre, aims to improve the understanding and management of wild dogs.
NSW DPI researcher, Guy Ballard, said 24 wild dogs have been trapped and fitted with global positioning system (GPS) tracking devices in the Red Range – Pinkett Wild Dog Control Association area.
“Data from the GPS collars will give us vital insights into how the animals behave,” Dr Ballard said.
“The study will inform our understanding of these pest animals so we will be better equipped to develop effective management strategies.
“One key outcome from our work near Walcha in 2010 and 2011, was that more than 90 per cent of the wild dogs we trapped and tracked were killed by aerial baits when a rate of 40 baits per kilometre was used.”
NSW DPI is working closely with local landholders, NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service and New England Livestock Health and Pest Authority (LHPA) to measure the success of aerial baiting with 1080 poison at rates of 10 and 40 baits per kilometre.
Dr Ballard said the project results will be used to inform federal decision makers about the most effective rate for control.
“Our ultimate aim is to reduce the negative impacts of wild dogs on livestock enterprises, local communities and the environment,” he said.
“While we can track the collars, if anyone finds a collar or shoots a dog with a collar, we would appreciate its return to ensure we maximise data retrieval.”
New England LHPA’s annual aerial wild dog baiting program, which covers the research area, will be used to deliver baits for the project.
For more information about the wild dog research project, local residents can contact NSW DPI (02) 6738 8500 or NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, (02) 6732 5133.
Source: NSW DPI