6 June 2019
Geraldton-based AWI Wild Dog Coordinator, Meja Aldrich, is a great advocate of the free FeralScan online resource that helps people to monitor and record pest animal activity, including evidence, pest animal impacts and control actions undertaken.
Data entered into FeralScan can be used to help coordinate on-ground control to address the problems caused by pest animals such as wild dogs.
Meja organises Recognised Biosecurity Group Executive Officer meetings four times each year – twice on phone conferences and twice in person – to develop detailed plans for effective wild dog control across the State.
Supporting Meja and the LPMTs is Peter West from the NSW DPI’s Vertebrate Pest Research team, based in Orange. Peter spoke to the group at its late May phone hookup. He has developed the innovative FeralScan pest mapping and monitoring resource for landholders and communities.
FeralScan has become an essential tool for LPMTs and land managers Australia-wide in recent years, and is particularly helpful in wild dog control.
Meja explained: “We are working closely with Peter to use FeralScan to develop a detailed picture of wild dog impacts and management in WA, and we encourage any landholders that are experiencing issues with wild dogs to record activity into WildDogScan. We are focusing on the regional-scale management of wild dogs, and our LPMTs continuously upload data into FeralScan to document wild dog activity and control outcomes.
“FeralScan has come a long way thanks to Peter’s hard work. He is now offering landholders the opportunity to receive rapid advice through alert notifications about local wild dog attacks, ie it will notify landholders so they can act before another attack occurs. FeralScan has become a powerful resource for effective wild dog control.”
Throughout WA, Meja works with recognised biosecurity groups (RBG), which are 50/50 landholders/government. According to Meja, FeralScan is being used more successfully by LPMTs than landholders. “We definitely need more people to report when they are having wild dog problems, because we need to build a better picture of stock losses to use our LPMTs effectively. Landholders who are experiencing wild dog attacks need to report them using FeralScan.
“We also want to help landholders to run their own control programs, and we are currently seeking funding to conduct a TAFE Landholder Training Course.”
Meanwhile Meja is also helping regional RBGs take a more professional approach by ensuring employment conditions and contracts for LMPTs are consistent and comply with industry best practice.
In the months ahead, Meja will continue to encourage RBGs and landholders to more consistently enter information into FeralScan to ensure it becomes even more useful in the management of wild dogs.