Wild Dog Management A Focus in the Mudgee & Rylstone Region
03 June 2014
This autumn has seen Central Tablelands and Hunter Local Land Services (LLS) in partnership with National Parks and Wildlife carry out a coordinated wild dog control program throughout the Mudgee and Rylstone region. This program, bridging the boundaries of the Central Tablelands and Hunter LLS, has seen LLS Biosecurity Officers working with local farmers and communities to control these problem animals.
Wild dogs have historically been a problem in the Mudgee and Rylstone areas with evidence suggesting that wide spread control programs date back over 120 years.
While wild dog predation plays a massive role in reducing the productivity of some of the state's most important and productive wool production regions, wild dogs also have extensive impacts on our native animals. They have contributed directly to the extinction of more than 50 species of native animals across Australia since European settlement.
The increased presence of wild dogs has driven the formation of landholder groups known as wild dog associations or wild dog control groups.
These groups are a great example of how landholders with a common interest can band together to take action, according to Central Tablelands Senior Biosecurity Officer, Mal Leeson.
"We have been working with a number of associations including the Rylstone District Wild Dog Association and the Goulburn River Wild Dog Association to develop a wild dog control strategy specific to the needs of the region," said Mal.
"This gives landholders the opportunity to have direct input into a flexible program."
"Over the past three years we have observed quite a rapid rise in wild dog activity in areas thought to be relatively dog free. We rely on a close relationship with community associations so we can respond to new incidents in a targeted and coordinated manner."
This most recent large scale baiting program took place over a three-week period beginning mid-May and involved the laying of 7000 ground baits by land managers and the aerial placement of 6500 baits in remote locations.
The program highlighted the ability of biosecurity staff to manage a cooperative program across boundaries with landholders, National Parks, State Forest and Crown Lands.
Aerial baiting of wild dogs is a highly effective practice. While carried out under stringent guidelines, it means baits can be placed in strategic areas. This limits the number of baits that have to be distributed. Each baiting run is planned and electronically mapped using GPS to ensure baits are placed in the intended strategic locations.
Over the past 12 months Officers at the Mudgee LLS office have prepared and distributed 19,000 wild dog baits to landholders experiencing wild dog predation, taking a proactive role in wild dog management. This work would not have been as successful without the financial support from Wilpinjong Coal Mine and Australian Wool Innovation, whose contributions made the delivery of free baits across the Rylstone and Goulburn area possible, including baits for aerial baiting. Building on programs already underway on holdings owned by Wilpinjong, Ulan and Moolarben mines. The costs of the helicopter delivery of the baiting was borne by the Central Tablelands LLS.
LLS recognises that wild dogs are a significant issue for landholders. It is highly complex, without a 'one size, fits all' solution.
Landholders are urged to report wild dog incidences to LLS biosecurity staff in a timely manner by calling 1300 795 299 or the Mudgee office on 6372 1866.
Media contact: Rodney Campbell 0447 430 160 | 02 6881 3430