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Beyond the Bale : June 2014
29 as much trapping as he can himself, he has also been willing to hand on his knowledge to anyone keen to learn. As a result we have three people locally having success trapping." The group has also been carrying out 1080 baiting programs in conjunction with the Goondiwindi Regional Council. "From a small beginning the group is now baiting 150,000 acres in one baiting 'block'," Bill said. "When a baiting is due, members are telephoned and mobilised. The Goondiwindi Regional Council supplies bait meat once per year, and landholders supply their own meat for the other yearly bait. Baiting has also removed a major number of foxes as well as wild dogs in the area which helps contribute to increased lambing percentages." Fences electrified for goat control steady the movements of wild dogs, Bill added. COORDINATED EFFORT As well as receiving support from AWI, group members contribute their own funds. When funds are required, a letter is sent to the local landholders -- for the past five years the request has been for a contribution of $200. In the last mail-out 27 landholders out of 32 responded. "The success rate is due to the informative approach we take -- letting people know of what is happening and the benefit we see from how many dogs that have been sorted," Bill said. "Dealing with people is very important -- talk to one person in an area and encourage him to talk to his neighbours. I'm not in favour of the big stick approach -- it just puts people off from the outset. "Our region has also benefited from the activities of the wild dog control group at Weengallon-Nindigully immediately to the west of Talwood which has helped limit the number of wild dogs entering the Talwood region." Bill's advice to landholders in other areas suffering wild dog losses is to form a group and attack the problem together. "A coordinated approach is vital. There might well be doubters initially, and persistence is required, but the example of what landholders have achieved together here at Talwood goes to show that wild dog control is possible." This artlicle is based on a case study by John Cuskelly, Biosecurity Queensland. ON-FARM Bill Oliver's brother Tom, Bill Oliver, and Chair of the Talwood group Bruce Webster. Best bait rate win in N.E. NSW More than 90 per cent of wild dogs can be effectively controlled by targeted 1080 aerial baiting programs according to solid scientific evidence gathered in wild dog prone areas of north-eastern NSW. NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) principal research scientist, Peter Fleming, said a bait rate of 40 baits per kilometre delivered a much greater level of control than the currently approved rate -- 10 baits per kilometre, which is only 55 per cent effective. "These results have huge and positive implications for livestock producers and wildlife managers," Dr Fleming said. "Based on this new evidence, Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority have this month extended the permit in the region to use 40 baits per kilometre for the next 12 months. "Aerial baiting plays a significant role in the strategic and target specific management of wild dogs in eastern NSW and, clearly, use of the optimum bait rate boosts the effectiveness of baiting programs. "Because most of the cost of aerial baiting is helicopter hire and labour, adoption of the optimum bait rate will ensure that land managers get better value for their expenditure and efforts, with little extra cost." The four-year aerial baiting trial was supported by AWI, NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS), Australian Pest Animal Research Program, Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre, Local Land Services and NSW DPI to fortify the effectiveness of wild dog and fox management. June 2014 BEYOND THE BALE NSW DPI researchers Dr Guy Ballard and Dr Peter Fleming fix a GPS collar on a wild dog as part of the optimum aerial baiting rate trial.