Pest animals are a growing problem throughout the Northern Agricultural Region, whether it be wild dog attacks on domestic livestock, feral pig destruction of crops, or European rabbits grazing on native and introduced vegetation, crop and pastures. All of these animal pests (and more) pose significant economic and environmental threats to our region.
Given the heavy impact that feral and pest animals pose to our environment, agriculture and other related industries, there is increasing community concern for more coordinated and collaborative approaches in tackling these threats.
NACC considers community-based pest control actions as important priorities and recently joined forces with the Yarra Yarra Catchment Regional Group, West Midlands Group and West Koojan Gillingarra Land Conservation District Committee to conduct feral animal control activities in their regions – including the Red Card for the Red Fox and rabbit-control programs.
More than 40 enthusiastic landholders took part in the organised animal control events which helped reduce the number of feral animals damaging our region.
A total of 81 foxes, 22 feral cats, 36 rabbits, and 2 feral pigs were tallied during the events, adding-up to a whopping 141 pest animals removed from our precious landscape and farms.
Everyone involved said the coordinated efforts were most worthwhile.
“The speculation is that the rabbit numbers were low this year possibly due to the newly induced exotic strain of calicivirus that has been released in a number of areas across the state.”
“It was encouraging to see so much local support for the event as many participants offered their land for the feral animal control night. I am also pleased to hear there is already interest in the event for next year”, said Ms Martino.
NACC Regional Landcare Facilitator Stanley Yokwe said, “Pest animals don’t respect property boundaries, so it is critical that landholders work together to ensure control measures are well coordinated and the best possible results are achieved.”
These events were supported by the Northern Agricultural Catchments Council with funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme as part of the Regional Landcare Facilitator project.