Regional Pest Animal Project
New England North West Network Chairs Inc were successful in gaining funding from the 2011-13 Federal Governments Caring for Our Country program. The regional project entitled “Pest Animal Management and Landholder Engagement in New England NSW” covers the five Landcare network areas of Granite Borders Landcare (GBLC), Glen Innes Natural Resources Advisory Committee (GLENRAC), Southern New England Landcare (SNEL), Upper Gwydir Landcare Association (UGLA) and Gwydir Macintyre Resources Management Committee (GWYMAC).
The Pest Animal Management and Landholder Engagement in New England NSW project has numerous project partners including the five New England North West Landcare networks, New England Livestock Health and Pest Authority, North West Livestock Health and Pest Authority, NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service and Border Rivers Gwydir Catchment Management Authority.
The $173,000 project runs until the end of June 2013 and aims to increase landholder and community awareness of pest animals and the damage they cause as well as supporting the community to develop coordinated control groups for wild dogs, foxes and feral pigs.
The project aims to reduce the threats to endangered ecological communities and threatened species in the New England region of NSW. It aims to raise awareness about the impact of pest animals such as pigs, foxes, wild dogs and rabbits on our valuable natural assets as well as agricultural production. It also aims to engage landholders in co-operative programs to control and manage these pests, as co-operative and integrated approaches have been recognised as the most effective methods for controlling pest animals.
Pest animals impact the whole community and when left uncontrolled they cause significant losses to agriculture and our natural environment. Feral pigs cause extensive damage to crops as well as natural habitats such as wetlands and other water sources, they trample and consume native vegetation and facilitate the spread of a broad range of weeds. They predate native fauna such as frogs and turtles and they are a host for numerous diseases, such as Leptospirosis.
Wild Dogs and Foxes are the two largest predators found on mainland Australia. They cause millions of dollars damage to agriculture and the environment annually. As well as predating livestock and native wildlife, these animals, especially foxes spread a broad range of weeds such as Chilean Needle Grass, St. Johns Wort and Blackberries. Wild Dogs and Foxes also spread a number of diseases that affect our livestock, pets and in some cases even ourselves. These diseases include Mange, Canine distemper, Hydatid tapeworm and Encephalitis. Wild dogs and foxes also have a large, potentially unknown impact on cattle produces, both of these animals can spread Neospora caninum, a parasite that is responsible for calf abortion, decreased milk production and reduced weight gain in cattle.
The Pest Animal Management and Landholder Engagement in New England NSW project will be delivering a number of field days and training workshops over the life of the project. There will also be numerous factsheets made available on feral cats, pigs, wild dogs, foxes and rabbits, as well as emerging pest animals such as Indian Myna birds and Deer.
Coordinated pest animal control utilising a number of control methods will also be encouraged and supported through the development of coordinated groups. Studies have shown that the most effective way of controlling pest animals is through using a range of control techniques and taking part in a coordinated program. Co-operative community control efforts reduce the rate of pest animal reinvasion and landholders save time and money by planning coordinated action.
If you would like to know more about the project or are interested in starting a pest animal control group in your area contact your local Landcare office.