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Abercrombie aerial pest campaign success

An integrated approach to pest control in the Abercrombie region is putting a big dint in feral pig, dog and goat pest numbers, demonstrating the success of close and coordinated cooperation between landholders and State Government agencies.

Central Tablelands Local Land Services and the NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service (NPWS) recently teamed up with private landholders to conduct an aerial pest cull targeting steep and inaccessible country where feral pests are difficult to reach.

The campaign targeted the 20,000 hectare Abercrombie River reserve along with land on six private properties stretching across an additional 13,500 hectares.

“We’ve had fantastic results supported by excellent cooperation between the landholders and the agencies involved,” said Casey Proctor.

The recent aerial campaign is part of a long running cross tenure pest management partnership between Local Land Services, NPWS, and landholders, which has been in place since 2014.

“Central Tablelands Local Land Services funded the helicopter cull to support ongoing baiting and trapping programs, building on the hard work that’s already been done by landholders and pest animal groups on the ground,” said Casey.

“We worked together closely to coordinate pest control activities, and the baiting and trapping programs are more successful when supported by the cross tenure aerial cull.”

The two day aerial cull enabled the removal a large number of destructive pests from the landscape, included 34 pigs, 373 goats, 7 deer, and 1 fox.

Pigs in particular have been breeding up in areas of dense blackberry infestation in the higher reaches of the small creeks that drain into the Abercrombie River & Reedy Creek.

Local Land Services and NPWS conduct winter pig control trapping programs that are complemented by the aerial cull, and plans are also underway to target ‘pig harbour’ by tackling weeds such as blackberry.

Neville Collins from the Central Tablelands Local Land Services biosecurity team has been helping landholders to install traps and supply feed wheat for use as bait.

"The dryer times have been ideal opportunity to control pig numbers using traps," said Neville.

“The integrated approach with NPWS, Local Land Services, and local landholders, is getting good results, and we look forward to the continued success of this integrated pest management approach.”