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Wild dogs - increased involvement in baiting program

Wild dogs are again under attack in the region as part of the 2016 wild dog baiting campaign being run by Central Tablelands Local Land Services.

Central Tablelands Local Land Services has just completed aerial bait drops in remote, inaccessible country using contract helicopters.

This follows on from a widespread ground baiting campaign by more than 100 landholders from the Hargraves Hill End Wild Dog Action Group, the Rylstone District Wild Dog Association and the Goulburn River Wild Dog Association.

According to Central Tablelands Local Land Services Senior Biosecurity Officer Mal Leeson, each year more landholders in these regions are getting involved in cooperative control programs, as wild dogs continue to establish themselves in new territory.

In the 2016 campaign, landholders have distributed more than 7,000 baits on private property.  Meanwhile helicopters have been used to drop 9,500 baits along 475 km of bait lines laid on routes where the dogs traverse their territory, often along ridge lines which are steep and inaccessible.

“Wild dogs have no regard for boundaries so control measures need to be carried out across all land tenure. Crown Lands including State Forests and National Parks make up around half of the targeted area for aerial baiting, while inaccessible freehold land makes up the other half,” explained Mal Leeson.

Coordinated baiting programs are also currently underway across NSW in other regions where wild dogs pose a threat to livestock and endangered native species.

Local Land Services Biosecurity Support Officer, Brendon Stubbs, has been working closely with landholders baiting on the Central Tablelands and has also been assisting with the aerial bait drops.

“We’ve been working with landholder groups for many years, but this is the first year that we’ve been able to extend the aerial baiting into the Hargraves area and we’re hoping for a good result,” explained Brendan.

“There is evidence of increased dog activity in many areas, and we are definitely getting more reports of dogs around the Hargraves and Hill End area. Local Land Services has been working hard to support farmers in tackling this problem.”

“The landholders have also been very proactive in dealing with this issue. In fact we’ve had six local farmers come into our Mudgee office to help us cut up the meat to prepare the baits ready to load into the helicopter. Their assistance was greatly appreciated!”

“We have also had a few people try out the Canid Pest Ejectors (CPEs) this year, which deliver 1080 directly into the dog’s mouth when the CPE device is triggered.

“The CPEs give you much greater certainty about bait security as the toxin remains in the device until activated.  It can be hard to tell if the bait has been taken by a fox or a dog but either way, that’s a good result.”

“Baiting programs are most effective when you have landholders working together as part of a coordinated strategy and it’s very pleasing to see the ongoing cooperation and commitment of these voluntary wild dog control groups.”

“We’re also receiving some very useful feedback from the many landholders who are now using remote cameras to get a better idea of what the dogs are up to out in the paddocks.”

“Meanwhile we continue to encourage farmers to talk to their neighbours and get them involved in strategic control so we can keep on top of the dogs,” said Brendon.

For more information about managing wild dogs contact Brendon Stubbs on 0428721862 or email brendon.stubbs@lls.nsw.gov.au

Media enquiries: Kylie Krause | 0439608370