In response to an elevated wild dog challenge across regional NSW, the state’s Livestock Health and Pest Authorities have recently completed another phase of the group’s wild dog programs, in conjunction with landholders and other agencies.
LHPA project manager for pests, Tim Seears, said the programs are part of the LHPA’s efforts to assist landholders across NSW manage wild dogs and their impacts.
“As a result of improved seasonal conditions, wild dogs are becoming an emerging issue for many landholders across the state, including areas that have not had wild dog impacts in recent years. The LHPA is committed to assisting them manage the problem,” he said.
Wild dog activity has been reported in 11 of the 14 NSW LHPA districts over the past four months.
In response, over the same period, local LHPAs have supplied 243,000 baits to accredited landholders for wild dog control and 505,000 baits issued for fox control.
Mr Seears said several local LHPAs recently coordinated aerial baiting programs, in conjunction with wild dog associations and other agencies, as a broad-scale approach targeting wild dogs in remote and inaccessible locations.
“The 2012 aerial baiting program involved over 85,000 baits being dropped along 2643km of flight path across 509 properties,” he said.
“The aerial baiting is one part of strategic programs that also include ground baiting and trapping to target dogs across the whole landscapes and land tenures. There are also programs using a mix of ground and aerial work, managed by National Parks and Wildlife Service and Forests NSW that tie in with these landholder driven programs,” he said.
Without the cooperation of the local wild dog associations, consisting of landholders and public land managers, aerial baiting programs such as these would not be successful, Mr Seears said.
“It is their local knowledge that ensures effort is targeted at the correct ridge or drainage line wild dogs travel.”
“Following aerial baiting, it is critical that producers continue to report wild dog activity to the LHPA as soon as possible, as this will assist in assessing the effectiveness and to enable follow up programs to be implemented to capitalise on reduced populations from the aerial baiting.”
Local LHPAs have responsibility for coordinating wild dog management and providing advice and support to landholders to enable them to meet their obligations under the Rural Lands Protection Act 1998 and Pest Control Order.
At a state level, the LHPA works closely with the NSW Department of Primary Industries’ Invasive Species Unit on ensuring cooperation between agencies involved in wild dog management in NSW.
In the New England region, the New England LHPA is reminding landholders to remain vigilant and report sightings and signs of predation.
Senior Ranger with the New England LHPA, Mark Tarrant, said the region's 2012 aerial baiting program concluded recently with the LHPA conducting de-briefing with all 20 Wild Dog Control Associations (WDCAs) and agency partners in the area.
“The 2012 program saw 50,548 aerial meat baits dropped over1264km from Tenterfield in the north to Yarrowitch and Nowendoc in the south of this LHPA district,” he said.
“Following aerial baiting it is critical that producers continue to report to us if they see wild dogs on their property or have stock attacks or losses as soon as possible as this will allow staff to put in place necessary follow up programs.
“Wild dogs can live basically undetected in many areas, so even if you think wild dogs are not a problem on your property they may be causing problems for your neighbour or other people in your community.”