Grazing Land Management

Getting livestock producers on the front foot with new pest animal technology

Jon Condon, 09/07/2014

dingoes wild dogs 2 - CopyCOMPUTER assisted technology adapted from the security and surveillance industry is emerging as an efficient rapid response solution for livestock producers to detect dingoes and other pest animals entering their properties – before they find dead calves in the paddock.

Farmers are starting to experiment with the wild dog early warning tools and rather than the time-consuming need to wade through hundreds of images, the Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre is developing integrated electronic solutions that detect wild dogs through automated remote tools. This is potentially going to save producers huge slabs of time, the CRC says.

Chief executive of the Invasive Animals CRC, Andreas Glanznig, said the CRC was using technologies developed for the security industry to develop new tools to open the way to using computer-assisted technology pest detection for farmers.

“Our team has developed proof of concept software that can automatically screen camera trap images from the field and recognise different dogs from facial features,” Mr Glanznig said.

“This technology is ground-breaking. Baits could be deployed from a device that recognises the target pest. We could also develop technology that automatically notifies the manager of a trap capture, as well as what’s in the trap,” he said.

Walcha, NSW beef and sheep producer Rob Costello said the new technologies would get producers “on the front foot before the dogs get in, so we can be proactive about managing them.”

“Any technology that allows strategic control before the problem starts is going to benefit land managers,” he said.

The IA CRC team has been working on the technology across several pests to differentiate between species at trap and baiting stations. “Following further development and trials to iron out any bugs, the technology has real promise as a new wild dog management tool,” Mr Glanznig said.

The IA CRC has submitted two scientific papers and is ideally placed to ensure that this technology is applied to solving these serious problems facing livestock producers.

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