Community approach tackles pest problem
People power starts to impact pest numbers
SOME landowners have reported positive results from a community- based approach to the problem of wild dog activity in the Alstonville area.
A recent survey by program organiser North Coast Local Land Services indicated a return of wildlife since baiting programs had been initiated.
And one property owner reports not having seen any dog activity on their outdoor camera for a long time.
The LLS has been working with the community and local stakeholders to address the problem following an escalation in attacks on domestic dogs and livestock and rising concerns about wild dogs impacting wildlife.
A community meeting in late July drew nearly 100 attendees, after which it offered landholder training, with 18 properties adopting a group baiting program across the Alstonville plateau.
Senior biosecurity officer Tony Heffernan said effective community engagement was a major part of effective wild dog control, with people actively involved.
He said it was especially important as property ownership in rural areas was undergoing a shift.
“Traditionally, landholders impacted by wild dogs have been established livestock producers on large landholdings.
“With urban spread into rural areas and the increase in the number of lifestyle properties, it is increasingly the peri-urban fringe now being impacted by wild dog issues.”
The LLS was pleased with the enthusiasm and uptake of the program in the smaller holdings in the peri-urban area around Alstonville.
This reflects the experience in the Whian Whian area that has a similar landscape to the
❝ It is increasingly the peri-urban fringe now being impacted by wild dog issues.
— Tony Heffernan
The Whian Whian group has been active for several years in an area with horticulture and livestock producers.
“That group is also focused on wildlife conservation, along with livestock protection, and we are hoping to grow the Alstonville plateau program into a long standing program similar to their approach,” Mr Heffernan said.
Invasive species team leader Dean Chamberlain said the NCLLS also provides a free vertebrate pest training course to landholders that provides participants with information relevant to the available methods and practical skills to improve wild dog control.
“The course has been provided to more than 1000 landholders since it began in 2010 and, as it provides a five-year accreditation, previous participants should check to see if their training is still current.”
Residents who have seen wild dog activity or have been impacted are encouraged to report it to NCLLS.
Landholders interested in participating in a wild dog group are encouraged to contact the NCLLS biosecurity officer.
TAKING ACTION: More than 100 Alstonville plateau residents attended the community meeting, leading to many participating in training and group baiting programs.