Proactive wild dog management pays dividends in the west

Wild dog management in Western NSW makes a difference.

It’s the message delivered by the National Wild dog Action Plan, through its new YouTube clip, and being borne out by the increasing numbers of landholders supporting the region’s ground and aerial baiting programs.

NSW Farmers Western NSW Wild Dog Coordinator Bruce Duncan said the Western Division’s baiting programs, which cover an area larger than the UK, have seen an exponential increase in participation.

“We’ve gone from having only three groups and 200 properties involved, covering about 11 million hectares in 2013, to 16 groups and 400 properties covering more than 14 million hectares today,” he said.

The video encourages community support and understanding for the devastating emotional and financial toll wild dog attacks take on land managers and their families.

Brendan Cullen, manager of Kars Station between Broken Hill and Menindee, said: “Wild dogs can leave an enormous scar on the ground in terms of dead sheep, it really burrs up in your guts and once you see that type of thing, you’ve got to act.”

Fellow producer Leon Zanker, who is also a member of the Tilpa Pest Management Group, said: “Going back a few years there was a lot of denial, a lot of people were saying we don’t have a problem, therefore we don’t have to do anything. Increasingly now we all recognise that we have a problem, it’s just how big a problem and what are we going to do about it?”

This proactive attitude is paying dividends with land managers overcoming the communication and logistical challenges of their enormous, remote landscape to work together to reduce attacks on livestock.

The Western Local Lands Services’ Team Leader at Wilcannia, Tim Wall, said in the past 13 years wild dog management groups have grown from three to 16 with more members embracing technology such as remote sensing cameras and canid pest ejectors to detect and manage dogs.

“Public awareness of wild dog activities is increasing,” he said. “We now have reports of dogs much further south than we have previously, a combination of heightened vigilance by land managers and the extremely dry conditions possibly forcing the dogs to extend their range.”

The YouTube clip Western NSW, where wild dog management makes a difference was produced by the National Wild Dog Action Plan with support from NSW Farmers, the Centre for Invasive Species Solutions and Australian Wool Innovation.

For more information on wild dog management groups contact your nearest Western Local Land Services Biosecurity Officer on 1300 795 299.

To find out about or log wild dog sightings visit WildDogScan