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Review of existing Red Fox, Wild Dog, Feral Cat, Feral Rabbit, Feral Pig, and Feral Goat control in Australia. I. Audit

Ben Reddiex, David M. Forsyth, Eve McDonald-Madden, Luke D. Einoder, Peter A. Griffioen, Ryan R. Chick, and Alan J. Robley.
Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2004

Contents

PDF files

Executive Summary

Project and client

Red foxes, wild dogs, feral cats, feral rabbits, feral pigs, and feral goats separately and in various combinations are believed to be responsible for the extinction or decline of a wide range of native species and for adverse changes in ecological communities in Australia. Predation by foxes and feral cats are key threatening under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act), whilst competition with native species and land degradation by feral rabbits, feral pigs and feral goats are also listed as key threatening processes under that Act. The belief that pest animals have caused declines in native species (and damaged production values) is reflected in legislation and has led to many attempts to control these pests. Many agencies and organisations including Federal, State and Local governments commit significant resources managing these species. However, there is limited hard evidence that this management has led to a reduction in threats and to a reversal in the decline.

The Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH) commissioned the Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research to undertake a project aimed at increasing the understanding on whether control of foxes, wild dogs, feral cats, feral rabbits, feral pigs, and feral goats lead to a reduction in threats to native species and ecological communities. The project is being completed in three stages. This report is the first stage, and details an audit of existing pest animal control activities in Australia. Future stages include identification of gaps in information on control activities and recommendations for filling these gaps (see Reddiex and Forsyth 2004), development of pest species monitoring protocols, and designing a process to determine priority ranking for control of pest animals in order to minimise threats to native species and ecological communities.

Objectives

The objectives of this study were: