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Kanimbla fight back against feral pig

KANIMBLA VALLEY FIGHT BACK AGAINST THE FERAL PIG

The Central Tablelands Local Land Services Living on the Edge project is rallying farmers to fight feral pigs and protect productivity and biodiversity in the Kanimbla Valley.

The Living on the Edge feral pig control project is funded through the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program to help protect the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area from the key threat of invasive species.

Nestled south of Lithgow, the picturesque Kanimbla Valley is a highly productive rural area, but feral pigs are posing a serious threat to cattle, sheep and horticultural enterprises, damaging pastures and creating the risk of disease spread.

The pigs are also damaging the natural habitat of the Kanimbla Valley, particularly the Coxs River and the adjoining World Heritage listed Blue Mountains National Park.

Farmers Chris and Sandy Cox have been working with the Living on the Edge team on a long term strategy to keep pigs away from their extremely valuable truffle orchard.

The 800 inoculated oak trees on their property produce truffles for restaurants locally and in Sydney, as well as for a growing export market to America, Japan and Europe.

Central Tablelands Local Land Services has loaned Chris and Sandy a trap and a trail camera, and supplied bait grain to help catch pigs lurking on the perimeter of their property.

In the last three months they have already trapped twelve pigs and they are working closely with neighbours on a broad scale control strategy.

“This is going to be an ongoing job because the pigs are going to keep breeding and they’re so intelligent that they are difficult to outsmart,” said Mr Cox.

”Efforts to manage the pig population will be far more effective if they’re organised by knowledgeable people from an agency like Local Land Services.”

The Living on the Edge 2020 pig control program will resume in May next year and will be expanded into further areas identified as hot spots of pig activity in the Kanimbla Valley.

The program takes a collaborative approach across an extensive landscape scale in partnership with the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, and with the Greater Sydney Local Land Services’ coordinated pig control program working with neighbouring landholders in the Megalong Valley.

“We’ve been building skills in the local community, initially teaching landholders about various control options including trapping techniques, and helping them to learn from more experienced farmers who have used pig traps previously,” said Central Tablelands Local Land Services officer, Liam Orrock.

Local Land Services is keen to hear from landholders across the Kanimbla and Megalong Valleys, and nearby areas adjacent to the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area, willing to join the feral pig fight back.

Landholders interested in getting involved in coordinated pig control are asked to contact Liam Orrock on phone: 0448 242 441 or email: liam.orrock@lls.nsw.gov.au

Media contact: Cassie Jones - 0408 504 825   Email: cassie.jones@lls.nsw.gov.au