Regional Wild Dog Control Program

Raising awareness and assisting landholder and agency cooperation to improve control outcomes

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LLCI-015-029

Regional Wild Dog Control Program

Raising awareness and assisting landholder and agency cooperation to improve control outcomes

The issue

Wild dogs have a big impact on agriculture, both in financial loss and the emotional stress that comes with violent damage to stock. Wild dogs pose a particularly difficult challenge for the Mid-Coast catchments – there are a lot of forest areas for refuge, plenty of opportunities for dogs to impact on stock, and the complications when dogs infiltrate densely populated areas where there are safety issues with both baiting and shooting. Reporting of dog issues to local authorities has increased significantly in recent years, reflecting an increase in both dog impacts and landholder awareness.

The solution

Manning Landcare and Karuah & Great Lakes Landcare obtained a grant through the Local Land Services’ Pest and Weed Drought funding, to support a series of three information workshops and three trapping schools with the provision of traps to trapping course attendees. We worked closely with Hunter LLS Biosecurity staff, and liaised and cross promoted with the Bulahdelah and District Wild Dog Control Group and the Mid North Coast Wild Dog Association. Information sessions featured Biosecurity Rangers Peter Fotheringham and Laurie Mullen, District Veterinarian Lyndell Stone, MidCoast Council’s Senior Ecologist Mat Bell, Mick Wilson of Forestry, and trapper Kevin Ford.

The impact

Well attended information sessions and fully booked trapping schools held in the Manning, Wallis Lake and Karuah Catchments led to immediate on ground action from participants. Three dogs were caught in the first week following the trapping school held near Stroud. With support from HLLS Biosecurity Officers and our Landcare networks, and with inspiration from the model used by the existing Bulahdelah group, landholders across the region are forming local interconnected mutual support clusters to coordinate and share trapping and shooting skills. As well as engaging our memberships, the program has connected our networks with landholders who had not previously engaged with Landcare.

Learnings

Social media helped spread the word, with the Mid North Coast Wild Dog Association enjoying a large Facebook following, and locality community Facebook pages very supportive. Skilling up and coordinated mutual landholder support are essential for tackling this cross-tenure problem.

The wild dog topic generated wide interest and helped promote our networks’ other activities.

Images

 

Key facts

  • Three information sessions attended by 75 landholders
  • Three two-day trapping courses attended by 40 landholders
  • 40 trapping sets distributed

Project Partners