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Beyond the Bale : June 2013
28 28 September 2010 BeYoNd the BaLe 28 on-farm aregionally coordinated aerial baiting campaign is under way across western Queensland to help control wild dogs that are causing significant livestock losses in the region. While there have been aerial baiting programs in the past, the significant difference of this year’s strategy is that it is a coordinated campaign with agreement from the shires on the sequence that the baiting takes place. AWI’s Queensland Wild Dog Coordinator Brett Carlsson says that one of the primary things he did on being fast facts l A coordinated aerial baiting program, organised with help from AWI’s Queensland Wild Dog Coordinator, is under way across western Queensland. l The aerial baiting program is being run in sequence across shires from north to south to help ensure that there is a maximum impact on wild dog numbers. l AWI has funded wild dog trapping workshops across western Queensland in the past 12 months. targetIng WILD Dogs In QLD representatives from shires across western Queensland that attended a meeting to agree on a coordinated approach to aerial baiting across the region. Back: Ian macDonald (Blackall), suzanne nicholls (Bulloo shire rLo), John fisher (muttaburra), shane axford (Winton), Brett carlsson (agforce), Peter White (Winton), Bill Paine (flinders shire rLo), neil macDonnell (Blackall – tambo rc). middle: Damian Bougoure (Longreach rc rLo), garry Pidgeon (Biosecurity Qld), Bill Bode (Hughenden). front: alan (cracker) macDonald (Pilot), Peter Pidgeon (Barcoo shire), greg Bowden (Longreach), Peter spence (DcQ), Jeff megaw (Winton rLo), cody Binsted (flinders shire ato). June 2013 BeYoNd the BaLe appointed to the role last year was to facilitate a workshop to discuss and create a coordinated twice yearly aerial baiting program with local government areas and their wild dog committees. “The situation they were in was that the current booking arrangement for aerial baiting sometimes resulted in large time gaps in baiting programs between neighbouring shires, and this in turn led to dogs moving between unbaited and baited areas very soon after each program,” Mr Carlsson says. “The aim of the workshop was to come to an agreement on a ‘sequence’ for the shires to carry out their aerial baiting campaigns and on proposed dates to carry out the programs – essentially a baiting calendar. “During the workshop there was a lot of discussion on what the sequence should be, factoring in the weather and best times to bait for wild dogs. At the conclusion it was decided to start with the northern most shires and finish in the south.” Over subsequent months, the wild dog committee chairs and councils from the 14 participating shires discussed the calendar with their fellow landholders and committee members and agreed to proceed with the 2013 baiting program calendar. “Although all agree that this process needed to occur, there are some regions that have had to unfortunately change from their usual baiting times. This created a lot of debate, but to everyone’s credit they agreed the calendar should go ahead,” Mr Carlsson added. “As well as hopefully reducing dog movements and knocking down large numbers of dogs, this new approach has also given the wild dog committees, councils and aerial provider more time to organise meat and landholders.” After the first of this year’s baiting programs, due to end this month, Mr Carlsson will host a follow up workshop to gauge the program’s effectiveness and to determine any suitable changes to ensure that landholders are achieving positive results from the program. More information: The Invasive Animals CRC (www.invasiveanimals.com) and its partners including AWI (www.wool.com/pestanimals) publish a range of guides and tools on practical wild dog control. Of note is the “PestSmart: Glovebox Guide for Managing Wild Dogs” which provides information to enable best-practice wild dog management. The guide is available at www.feral.org.au