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2017 Autumn Wild Dog Baiting Campaign

The annual wild dog baiting campaign on the Central Tablelands has just wrapped up with Local Land Services assisting landholders in the coordination and implementation of extensive ground and aerial baiting programs.

Ground baiting with the Munghorn, Rylstone, Hillston, Turondale, Palmers Oakey, Fremantle, and West Macquarie bait groups took place in April and May.

Aerial bait drops commenced in late May in inaccessible areas. More than 9,500 baits have been dropped on over 40 properties in a program funded by the Commonwealth Government, while the NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service (NPWS) have dropped over 9000 baits on land under NPWS management.

Peter Sipek is the Chair of the newly formed Munghorn Wild Dog Group which has just laid 1100 ground baits across country belonging to 22 participants. Peter’s property, “Crowie’, at Turill north of Mudgee is bounded on three sides by the Goulburn River National Park.

“Dogs are a community problem and all landholders need to work together and with other baiting groups in the region if we are going to effectively control the dogs,” said Peter.

“I bought this property in 2010 and by 2013 the dog numbers appeared to be increasing. I have seen as many as ten dogs in a single pack at the back of my property on the Goulburn River. From 2013 to 2016 we have shot and trapped 13 dogs.”

“More and more producers have been switching into cattle to avoid dog predation, but the dogs are now switching from sheep to calves.”

“In 2014 I lost thirty Wiltshire ewes and lambs to dogs which were also killing sheep on neighbouring properties. Then in 2015 I lost six Angus calves worth between $6000 and $7000.”

“I view participation in the baiting program as doing the right thing by my neighbours and doing my part to help with a serious problem,” said Peter.

Where dogs manage to evade both ground and aerial baiting programs, Local Land Services assists landholders in organising dog traps as the next line of defence.

According to Tim Seears, Invasive Species Team Leader with Central Tablelands Local Land Services, the increased use of trail cameras has made trapping more cost effective.

“The cameras make it easier to monitor when dogs are present and what tracks or holes in fences they are using, so we can work out best locations for baiting and trapping,” said Tim.

The Mudgee Merriwa District Wild Dog Association (which includes Munghorn, Hargraves/Hill End and Rylstone baiting groups) has purchased cameras for sentinel stations across the district.

Peter Sipek has been using trail cameras on his property for the past four years.

“They allow me to confirm what dogs are in the area, and whether I am seeing ‘regulars’ or new dogs,” said Peter.

“If I see the same dogs after baiting, I know I might need to try something different like trapping or Canid Pest Ejectors (CPEs)”

“The cameras also throw up interesting things like feral pigs, cats and the odd motorbike rider who shouldn’t be in the national park.”

“I also use the Feral Scan/PestSmart Dog app on my smart phone and PC to record dog activity,” said Peter.

For more information about the 2017 baiting program, or for advice on the management of wild dogs and other feral pests, contact Tim Seears at Central Tablelands Local Land Services on  0417 613 673.

Media contact: Jane Hogan 0417 166 479 or 02 6333 2305