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Beyond the Bale : June 2013
AWI new funding to combat wild dogs seLLIng more WooL on-farm 29 June 2013 BeYoNd the BaLe aWI's current wild dog control program has achieved control methods across 1.3 million square kilometres of country in every mainland state of Australia through almost 50 wild dog control groups. Survey results of 259 participants revealed how: 41% intend to reintroduce sheep 71% noticed an increase in native animals 68% intend to increase sheep numbers 94% reported better wellbeing as a result of participating. Given these results, the AWI Board has endorsed the investment of $1 million as part of a new ‘Community Wild Dog Control Initiative’ with both new and existing control groups encouraged to apply for funding. Existing wild dog groups have been assisted in various ways, from Wild dog trapping workshops there have been several AWI-funded wild dog trapping workshops held across western Queensland in the past twelve months, including at Muttaburra, Longreach, Torrens Creek, Wyandra, Quilpie, Charleville and two at Blackall. The workshops, organised by AgForce and supported by Biosecurity Queensland, are run by professional trappers and have been strongly attended by landholders. At the workshops, the expert trappers initially provide information on topics such as wild dog biology and ecology, best practice control techniques, trap types, trap care, modifications and how to identify dog activity. They then head out to the paddock where everyone has some practice at setting traps and learns some pointers. Mr Carlsson, who has attended some of the workshops, says that they have been attended by a good mix of landholders from surrounding stations. “Some landholders already have quite a bit of trapping experience and are looking for tips and tricks on trap set-up and techniques to improve their catch rate,” Mr Carlsson says. “It was great to see them contributing to the discussions with their personal experiences and helping out those less experienced when it came to the practical part of the days. “There was plenty of positive feedback and attendees are always keen to put their new-found knowledge into practice. This will no doubt have a positive effect on dog control.” fast facts l The AWI Board has endorsed the investment of $1 million as part of a new ‘Community Wild Dog Control Initiative’. l The initiative follows on from AWI’s current wild dog control program which has achieved control methods across 1.3 million square kilometres of the country. l Both new and existing control groups are encouraged to apply for the new funding. purchasing refrigeration to keep fresh meat for baiting, through to assistance with wild doggers and aerial baiting programs. Groups are encouraged to assess their situation strategically and co-ordinate their action plan with other community groups such as Landcare for the benefit of various stakeholders. AWI is keen to help groups develop long term solutions. Head of on farm research and development at AWI, Dr Jane Littlejohn, said wild dogs are the single biggest factor holding back wool production in Australia. “The latest research has shown how large and widespread the wild dog problem is in Australia. The pastoral zone of Australia has been home to some of Australia’s largest sheep flocks but is in serious danger from wild dog attacks. Almost every alpine region also faces a similar problem and this is why AWI has committed vital resources to help communities protect their flocks.” In south-western Queensland, Peter Lucas of the Paroo Wild Dog Advisory Committee was involved in the current program. “Wild dogs are an issue in all regions of Queensland,” he said. “The AWI funding has been a great help for us and has been used for baiting and some trapping. In this shire we have been able to keep numbers relatively low and this funding has helped us cover and protect more country.” Peter Star of the Talgarno Wises Creek Landcare Group in northern Victoria has had a similar experience. “Given economic conditions, the AWI funding has been a blessing,” he said. “It has gone towards community baiting programs in this region with a marked decrease in wild dog attacks.” More information: To apply, groups should download and complete the application form at www.wool.com/ pestanimals and submit it with a project budget and map to firstname.lastname@example.org Wild dog trapping workshop at ‘Llorac’ near muttaburra, Queensland.