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Beyond the Bale : September 2017
Bruce liaises with woolgrowers, livestock producers and other key stakeholders to help them achieve long term on-ground control of wild dogs. Collaboration between local landholders is vital when dealing with wild dog issues but can be challenging without external help, especially in western NSW where distances to travel are greater and there are a larger number of absentee landowners. “Bruce has been very helpful and particularly with the aerial baiting program. It’s a demonstration of AWI and NSW Farmers understanding that it’s a good thing to have someone way out here. It has been a very good move, and I hope they continue to fund it for some time. “There is a lot of information around. This is a good thing. I don’t think anyone would see lack of information as an excuse to not being involved in baiting.” Richard says he also talks frequently to biosecurity officers Tim Wall and Grant Davis from Western Local Land Services. “We rely on them to help on our programs; they add great value. It’s more than the baiting role on the day, they also provide information and knowledge sharing which is so critical. We need them, as they are accredited to use the 1080, and because baiting programs are getting bigger and bigger.” GROUP FUNCTION AND FUNDING There are eight different control groups within the BARG group, covering more than 1.5 million hectares. Each group coordinates when their baits get injected. “The assistance with aerial baiting has been invaluable,” Richard said. “We need to see some level of baiting continue because dogs will impact on the entire economy if we don’t get this pest under control.” Someone in each control group organises the baiting for their respective group. “We are right on the eastern boundary of BARG so we organise baiting ourselves. It suits us abitbettertogooutonourown,butina coordinated way as part of the overall BARG program,” Richard explains. Richard Wilson and his wife Shirley, their son Jed and partner Stacey, and Jed’s older brother Luke, with Jed and Stacey’s three children Indi, Clancy and Charlie. The group is very organised. People have been proactive in seeking funding and, as a result, members don’t pay a lot for membership. Through AWI support, people have put in freezers, so meat is accessible, and put in drying racks at an appropriate height allowing the LLS to inject more easily. This makes the whole process simpler for all involved. “AWI looked at ways of assisting with grant money for small projects – such as the freezers. Simple things can make things so much easier and quicker,” he said. “Working together with those who do the injecting and having everything ready (meat thawed and dried on racks) does create efficiencies. Doing this locally and having it ready allows the logistics to be so much easier,” he explained. Simple things such as using the cleaned out old chemical containers hooked to the ute, rather than using plastic bags, makes the process easier. “Being involved with Landcare helps us by having a large parent body to support a range of different things. Wild dog control is an important part of it, and a big part of it, but it’s involved a lot of other activities as well,” Richard added. AWI COMMUNITY WILD DOG CONTROL INITIATIVE – FUNDING AVAILABLE Funding is available to groups under AWI’s ‘Community Wild Dog Control Initiative’. Applications are open to new groups as well as those groups that have previously received funding from AWI. If you would like to apply, please complete the Community Wild Dog Control Initiative application form available at www.wool.com/ wilddogs and submit it along with a plan, a map and a project budget to email@example.com If you need clarification or assistance please contact Ian Evans at AWI on 0427 773 005. Apart from the normal baiting program, Richard has also done spot baiting if he has seen any presence of predators. His approach is to only use dog strength baits. As a result, both wild dogs and foxes are targeted with the same effort. Richard will soon be implementing canid pest ejectors. “Everyone is doing the best they can with the tools available and the knowledge they’ve got. The ejectors are the new tool being adopted and will be a big benefit once in place.” He is currently grading some tracks into the less accessible areas for installation of ejectors. “We are finding that dogs like a smooth graded pathway so we are trying to open up some country to create some smooth pads for dogs to move along, and we will then strategically target areas for baiting,” Richard explained. Through this process, Richard is strategically creating an environment to target dogs. COORDINATION IS VITAL Richard has valued his involvement with the AWI-funded wild dog coordinator for the Western Division of NSW, Bruce Duncan of NSW Farmers, and the associated forums and workshops that have been provided. “Bruce has been very present in the region. His energy is very good; he has a very full role,” Richard said. Richard Wilson and his son Jed run 9,000 Merino breeding ewes on the 120,000-hectare ‘Yalda Downs’ property, near White Cliffs, 335 km north east of Broken Hill. ON FARM 41
In the Shops - September 2017