PRODUCERS should soon start to see impacts on the ground of increasing Government-level recognition of the national significance of wild dogs as a pest, according to Invasive Animals Co-operative Research Centre National Wild Dog Facilitator Greg Mifsud.
The recently announced Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper includes a further $1.35 million in funding, over two years, for the National Wild Dog Action Plan.
Mr Mifsud said the recognition brings new opportunities to source funding through previously inaccessible pathways such as the National Landcare Program.
“The action plan puts into place higher level strategies to support grassroots’ efforts to ensure wild dog management on the ground is effective long term,” he said.
Mr Mifsud said effective wild dog groups, delivering co-ordinated control programs embracing the nil tenure approach, were gaining ground.
“We’re beginning to see some real momentum building, with all of our stakeholders now working co-operatively to deliver effective outcomes across community groups, regions and state borders,” he said.
The additional national plan funding would be invested in supporting the roll-out of new wild dog control tools and products during the next 12 months.
“The new toxin PAPP and canid pest injectors will become commercially available and we need to inform communities and train people in best practice delivery right from the start,” he said.
“We want producers to become confident in the use of these tools as soon as possible.”
The Federal Government has allocated a further $1 million for the development of a new wild dog alert system.
Also funded by MLA, the project combines automated recognition of camera trap images with real-time messaging to notify producers that wild dogs have invaded their farm before attacks occur.
In future, the system will have significant uses for other species such as feral pigs, foxes and feral cats
In another development, Mr Mifsud said Wild Dog Scan, a national wild dog activity mapping tool, has gone mobile with producers able to view and log real-time wild dog data on their mobile device. “Recording this real time information will assist community groups to make management decisions based on current activity and wild dog movements,” he said. “It has the potential to become a vital tool in managing wild dog attacks.”
Producers can access all the tools for wild dog management at the Pest Smart website here.