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Federal Govt announces a series of measures to control feral goats

Beef Central, 03/11/2023

THE Albanese Government is today adding feral goats to its war on invasive species, announcing a series of measures to control them including aerial culling and baiting.

Feral goats are found in every state and territory and are a threat to the survival of 128 threatened plant and animal species, including the brush-tailed rock wallaby and eleven species of wattle.

Minister for the environment and water Tanya Plibersek said important ecosystems in some of our most precious places like the Blue Mountains and the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area are damaged by feral goats.

“Invasive species are one of the most serious threats to native plants and animals across Australia. Cats, horses, yellow crazy ants, and now goats – we have to deal with each of these threats to give our native species the best chance of survival,” Ms Plibersek said.

“Goats don’t belong in fragile places like the Blue Mountains and the Great Barrier Reef islands. They compete with native species for food and shelter and water, while trampling over their critical habitats, causing erosion.

“This Plan is about better identifying and monitoring the threat, and taking action. It’s a huge step forward to protect 128 threatened species and the places they call home.”

On the Reef, they have been found on at least 25 islands where they disturb bird nesting sites, overgraze vegetation and create severe erosion. In the Blue Mountains, feral goats graze on rock shelf vegetation and damage fragile cliff faces.

Feral goats also compete with native animals for food, carry disease and impose significant costs on Australian communities and farmers every year. It’s been estimated that there are over 5.8 million feral goats in NSW alone.

A new Plan released by the Government today recommends a range of actions and goals such as new goat control methods including the trial of new baits for feral goats and the use of drones and thermal cameras for aerial culling.

The Plan also recommends better data and monitoring so we can more efficiently direct control measures, and research into the impact of goats on the environment.

Public consultation on the draft Threat Abatement Plan is open until 7 February 2024. You can read it here: https://consult.dcceew.gov.au/draft-threat-abatement-plan-for-competition-and-land-degradation-by-unmanaged-goats

Source: Tanya Plibersek

 

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