AUSTRALIA is a strong step closer to having a single, nationally-coordinated strategy to guide feral pig control efforts with the release of the draft National Feral Pig Action Plan.
The draft plan has been under development since August last year by the National Feral Pig Action Plan Steering Group, chaired by John Maher, a process which has involved widespread input from a diverse array of stakeholders across the country.
The Plan will operate over ten years, with a progress review to be independently conducted in year five.
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The Plan addresses the need to shift feral pig management to being more coordinated, collaborative, and strategic to support land managers to deliver on-ground, long term actions.
Currently, very few feral pig management programs are conducted at a landscape scale that are supported by best practice management tools and science-based information, the draft report notes.
Because of this, feral pigs continue to cause widespread impacts in many regions across Australia, and populations are increasing and spreading into new areas.
For land managers, the draft plan builds on the many control programs underway and aims to build on effectiveness on campaigns and better coordinate private and public investment and resources by supporting land managers to work together in local groups at a landscape scale.
The focus of the plan is on long term suppression of feral pig populations, or eradication where deemed feasible.
It also proposes establishing a network of regional coordinators to work with community groups and land managers and working directly with community led groups to deliver best practice feral pig management knowledge and programs.
Strengthening communication and data collection and reporting are also key facets of the plan.
An Information Hub has also been established to provide a user-friendly portal to access details on the many feral pig management and research activities conducted around Australia.
Ideas floated in the draft plan to support the longer term funding of pig control activities include developing a biodiversity stewardship fund and creating new economic and employment opportunities for local communities through co-development of solutions to manage feral pigs.
“There are no quick fixes or one solution that can be applied by land managers to address this issue,” Mr Maher said.
“The Plan is focussed on building stronger, more cohesive and coordinated partnerships between all those affected by feral pigs to reduce their impacts.”
The draft plan can be downloaded at this link.
Feedback can be submitted via email to firstname.lastname@example.org and will be accepted until 5pm Friday 26 February, 2021.
After consideration of feedback a final draft NFPAP will be submitted to the Environment and Invasives Committee out-of-session in late March.