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Aerial baiting wild dogs

First aerial baiting operations for Hargraves Hill End Wild Dog Action Group

The Central Tablelands Local Land Services Biosecurity Officers have been working closely with the members of the Hargraves Hill End Wild Dog Action Group (HHEWDAG) in the past months to formulate a strategy to bring under control the escalating wild dog population in the Avisford and Meroo areas.

Reports of mauling and stock deaths and have been increasing in recent times. Wild dog sightings are occurring in areas where no previous incidence has been reported.

Senior Biosecurity Officer with the Local Land Services, Mal Leeson said, "A public meeting was held last month with affected land managers in an effort to coordinate a "cross tenure" approach to wild dog management in the area. Following this meeting, talks were held with the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) and a strategy was undertaken to carry out the aerial baiting of inaccessible lands where wild dog movement may occur."

Local Area Manager for the National Parks and Wildlife Service David Crust said, "Taking a cooperative approach and working with other land managers in the area is vital in achieving positive results in wild dog management."

On Monday July 21, 550 poisoned baits were placed by helicopter along 36km of approved bait trail. A little over half of the bait was placed on freehold land and the balance on Crown Land managed by NPWS.

Mr Leeson says, "Wild dogs have a set breeding pattern and only breed once per year. This makes them somewhat vulnerable in that control programs can be targeted at times when the target is most at risk. Wild dogs born last year are currently struggling to establish their home ranges. This period of insecurity makes them more vulnerable to baiting and trapping programs."

It is important for land managers to report wild dog activity to the Local Land Services. This information is collated and used to support and justify future control strategies. The LLS has recently established an email account for the reporting of all wild dog activity. Land owners can still report activity by phoning their local Biosecurity Officer or email ct.wilddogs@lls.nsw.gov.au.

Central Tablelands Local Land Services the National Parks and Wildlife Service and members of the Hargraves Hill End Wild Dog Action Group have been working cooperatively together on this project, and generous support from Moolarben Coal Mines has made this project viable for the many affected livestock producers in the area.

For more information please contact Mal Leeson, Acting Team Leader Invasive Species at Central Tablelands LLS on 6372 1866.

Media contact: Kylie Krause 0439 608370 | kylie.krause@lls.nsw.gov.au