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Beyond the Bale : September 2017
At Moorabie Station, 200km north of Broken Hill on the western edge of NSW, runs the wild dog fence marking the border of NSW and South Australia. The fence was originally built as a rabbit-proof fence in the 1880s but was upgraded to a wild dog fence in the 1940s to help protect the sheep flocks of south-eastern Australia. For a group of the nation’s top wild dog control experts, it was a very fitting location to gather to discuss and share best practice information. Attendees included AWI-funded wild dog coordinators from NSW, WA, Victoria and Queensland; researchers; the National Wild Dog Management Facilitator, Greg Mifsud; AWI Program Manager Vertebrate Pests, Ian Evans; Chairs of the local wild dog management groups and local landholders. Organised by the AWI-funded wild dog coordinator for the Western Division of PRESENTATIONS AT THE WILD DOG CONTROL WORKSHOP • AWI involvement and funding for wild dog control: on-ground work, facilitators and research (Ian Evans, AWI) • The role of the National Wild Dog Management Facilitator and the National Wild Dog Action Plan (Greg Mifsud) • Research into improving the management of vertebrate pests; wild dog collaring project; aerial bait rate trial results and implications (Peter Fleming, Principal Research Scientist, NSW DPI) • “Seeing in the dark”; detecting pest animals at night, spotlighting, night vision and thermal optics; muzzle blast suppressors and operator hearing protection (Rob Hunt, Senior Pest Officer, NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service) • The dog fence and the challenges of maintaining it; the role of canid pest ejectors (Laurence Doidge, Operations Manager, Wild Dog Destruction Board) • Community led wild pig control; wild pig behavior and exploiting their weaknesses; pig collaring project results; potential for activities in Western NSW (Darren Marshal, feral animal researcher, Queensland Murray Darling Committee) • Peri-urban management of wild dogs; GPS collaring in coastal regions; lethal trap devices (Paul Meek, Invasive Species Officer, NSW DPI). NSW, Bruce Duncan, the weekend’s activities started on the Saturday with presentations and discussions – see box below. There was also a trip through the fence to Quinyambie Station in South Australia, directly opposite Moorabie, for a first-hand look at the different landscape there and the effects of unmanaged wild dogs on properties. “Feedback from the wild dog control workshop has been very positive with presenters and attendees already suggesting that they would love to return to a location like Moorabie, if another event was planned, where issues can be discussed in a hands-on, practical setting,” Bruce Duncan said. AWI Program Manager Vertebrate Pests, Ian Evans said getting together so many experts from the wild dog management field and having time to discuss the challenges and opportunities for the future was very helpful. “It has been valuable for us all to learn from experts in different environments, and interesting to hear feedback from local landholders and sheep producers who are the WILD DOG CONTROL WORKSHOP Attendees of the wild dog control workshop and local landholders at a trapping course examining a first-rate example of a bait drying rack that was funded by AWI. In the far west of NSW on a weekend in June, wild dog experts from across the country and local landholders gathered at a wild dog control workshop to discuss tactics to tackle the problem of wild dogs in Australia. 38 ON FARM
In the Shops - September 2017