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A new tool to protect threatened Rock Wallabies

The luxury Emirates One and Only Wolgan Valley Resort has become the first private landholder on the Central Tablelands to use the Canid Pest Ejector. The trials are part of an ongoing pest program designed to protect threatened rock wallaby populations in the Blue Mountains. 

  The Canid Pest Ejector is a mechanical device that delivers a dose of 1080 poison into the mouth of the target animal when it attempts to remove the attached bait," explained Senior Local Land Services Officer, Huw Evans.

"Smoked deer, caramel topping, lamb tongue and anchovy have been used as bait to lure animals to the ejector device." 

  "With traditional baiting an animal can sometimes take the bait away to hide, then come back to eat it later when the 1080 is less effective."

"Using the Ejector device avoids this problem, because it is secured at a permanent bait station, and the poison is released immediately when the mechanism is triggered by a dog or a fox."

"Another advantage is that the 1080 poison in the capsule remains effective for longer as it doesn't come into contact with the soil where it starts to break down," said Huw. 

Emirates One & Only Wolgan Valley and other local landholders have been working with the Central Tablelands Local Land Services (LLS) and the National Parks & Wildlife Service on a long term project to protect brush tailed rock wallabies. 

The Ejector device has been trialled in conjunction with standard baiting techniques and Huw Evans says the results are promising.

"During the three month trial, six ejectors were activated. There were prints of dogs and foxes around the devices, so we're confident the target species did receive the dose of 1080." 

  There are definitely advantages for landholders who wish to have set baiting stations in place that can be activated as required," said Huw.

Simone Brooks, Senior Field Guide at Emirates One & Only Wolgan Valley, says the ejectors will perform an important role in their feral predator control program.

"We have been very pleased to be involved with the Canid Pest Ejector pilot program. It's been well run by Local Land Services and the training provided to the resort's Field Guides has been excellent," said Simone. 

"Control of feral predators is an important component of our conservation program in our efforts to protect native biodiversity and re-establish this former grazing property as a conservation sanctuary for a wide range of native fauna." 

"The use of sand pads and infrared cameras at the ejector sites has also given us a valuable insight into fox and dog activity."

"We actively educate our guests about the issues facing our native fauna and encourage all landholders in the region to work actively to help protect threatened species such as the brush tailed rock wallaby and the spotted tailed quoll." 

"Based on our experience with the pilot program, the Canid Pest Ejector should be considered an important and useful tool in pest control," said Simone. 

Meanwhile Central Tablelands LLS is keen to work with other landholders in the region to increase the effectiveness of pest control efforts.

"Pest control works best when you get everyone in an area working together on a coordinated strategy. We would welcome inquiries from other landholders, particularly in the Wolgan and Capertee Valleys and near the Jenolan area where there are significant populations of the threatened brush-tailed rock wallaby," said Huw Evans. 

For more information about this project contact Huw Evans on phone: 02 6350 3117 or email: huw.evans@lls.nsw.gov.au

Media enquiries - Kylie Krause 0439 608370