28 April 2020
From Cape York to Kalgoorlie, from Broome to the Bass Strait, producers are applying the National Wild Dog Action Plan’s (NWDAP) principles of wild dog management and getting results.
Showcased in these new YouTube clips, the principles are explained by producers for producers. And, while focused on the drought-affected and wild dog-impacted Paroo Shire, these principles are applicable everywhere.
Graziers Cameron and Jeanine Baker at ‘Northam’, Wyandra, share their journey from being almost pushed out of sheep by wild dogs to having a viable future for their next generation.
“It was awful trying to drought feed during the day and defend our sheep and goats from wild dogs at night, it was exhausting,” Jeanine said. “The whole community … there was just this sense of hopelessness.”
National Wild Dog Management Coordinator Greg Mifsud explains the management strategies that helped these Paroo Shire graziers reclaim their lives set the foundation for the NWDAP best practice management strategies.
“The Paroo model promoted adoption of best practice, evidence-based, humane management strategies and control tools to minimise wild dog impacts on livestock,” he said.
“The key to their success was land managers coordinating their control programs, communicating with each other and being strategic in their approach.
“For example, baiting during spring and autumn to capitalise on breeding cycles and being prepared to use other control tools in between, such as trapping, shooting and exclusion fencing to reinforce those major campaigns.”
While wild dog management has been an ongoing activity for most Paroo Shire landholders, the videos show how the Paroo model strategies have helped producers become more sustainable and protected enterprise choice.
“We’re running sheep, goats and cattle and having those three enterprises are an important risk mitigation strategy for our business,” Cameron said.
“Without adopting the community baiting programs and other coordinated control measures that we’ve learned, I don’t know if we’d still be here.”
Jeanine said the community approach to wild dog management had lifted everyone’s spirits.
“Now at least we feel like people care enough to have a go and we’ve seen results; it’s allowed people to stay here and do what they do well,” she said.
This video was funded by the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment through the National Wild Dog Action Plan and with thanks to graziers from Longreach, Barcaldine and Paroo Shires for taking part and RAPAD for helping organise the filming locations.