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Minister for the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts 2001-2004

The Hon Dr David Kemp, MP

 

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Joint Media Release
Federal Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Dr David Kemp
&
Federal Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
Warren Truss

2 June 2004

$500,000 federal funding for projects to control feral animals


The Australian Government is providing $500,000 for 23 projects to help reduce the serious damage feral animals cause to Australian agriculture and the environment.

Australian Ministers for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Warren Truss, and the Environment and Heritage, Dr David Kemp, today announced the Natural Heritage Trust funding for the projects.

Mr Truss said the projects are part of the National Feral Animal Control Program, which is administered by the Bureau of Rural Sciences.

"The program identifies better ways to manage nationally significant pest animals," he said. "It also provides funding for control projects in key areas - 16 of which involve feral pigs.

"Feral pigs cause at least $100 million in lost agricultural production every year and are also responsible for considerable environmental damage," Mr Truss said.

"The 16 projects receiving funding today involve shooting, baiting and trapping programs in areas where feral pigs are causing significant damage (see attached map). The Australian Government is contributing $200,000 to this work in addition to contributions by State and local government, and individual landholders.

"For example, a $16,500 project involving baiting and some trapping will look to reduce feral pig numbers in the Canarvon Gorge near Roma in Queensland ; a $26,000 project will test the effectiveness of automated gates in excluding feral pigs from rangeland water points in Cunnamulla and Inglewood in Queensland ; and $8,400 will set up semi-permanent traps in known feral pig 'movement corridors' near Holbrook in NSW ."

Dr Kemp said that on top of the $200,000 for the feral pig projects, $298,942 is also being provided to seven on-going projects looking at ways to better manage pests such as birds, foxes, rabbits and wild dogs.

" Nationally significant pests, such as rabbits, feral pigs and wild dogs cost us over $500 million a year in lost agricultural production and also cause significant environmental damage," he said. "This damage would be much greater without the concerted cooperative efforts of researchers, government agencies and individual landholders.

" The Australian Government is committed to finding practical solutions to lessening the devastating impact pest animals have on agriculture and the environment ."

Lists of the feral animal projects being funded are attached.


Feral pig control projects

Australian Government funded under the National Feral Animal Control Program

Project Title Location Description NFACP funding

Aerial baiting program for feral pig control

Bowen, Qld

Undertake aerial baiting over vehicle-inaccessible areas.

$30,000

Water-point trapping to control feral pigs on sheep grazing properties

Cunnamulla & Inglewood, Qld

Test the ability of automated gates to exclude feral pigs from rangeland water-points or to selectively trap them.

$26,000

Mackay region community feral pig trapping program

Mackay & Proserpine region, Qld

Traps will be built to be used in a coordinated feral pig trapping program.

$6,000

Feral pig monitoring and control on QPWS estate adjoining agricultural enterprises

Dalby, Qld

Use of portable feral pig traps in a coordinated trapping program.

$10,000

Feral pig management in the Carnarvon Ranges

Roma, Qld

Aerial and ground baiting and some trapping for general feral pig population reduction and aims for local 'eradication' in Carnarvon Gorge.

$16,500

Implementing on-ground feral pig control in the QMDB through community groups

Warwick, Qld

Feral pig traps to be built and used in a coordinated landholder trapping program .

$5,950

Improving feral pig baiting strategies

Laura, Qld

Assess the influence of seasonal conditions on the effectiveness of two baiting strategies: blanket aerial baiting vs waterpoint baiting.

$26,000

Warburn Drainage feral pig control program

Griffith, NSW

Use of traps and bait stations to control a 'source' population of feral pigs in a relatively small area.

$3,400

Wagga Wagga RLPB feral pig control program

Wagga, NSW

Purchase traps to respond to landholder reports of feral pig populations as required.

$1,600

Community-based feral pig control for Braidwood RLPB

Braidwood, NSW

Coordinated feral pig trapping and aerial shooting campaign.

$21,000

The Cooma RLPB feral pig control program

Cooma, NSW

Initial knockdown of feral pig population in accessible areas through aerial shooting. Further pig control through trapping and baiting.

$11,500

Feral pig reduction for a better environment

Taralga, NSW

Aerial shooting in 'hotspots' with follow-up trapping.

$9,400

Cooperative feral pig control in the Oberne Valley

Tumbarumba, NSW

Build feral pig traps and coordinate trapping program.

$3,600

Southern Monaro feral pig control program

Bombala, NSW

Coordinated feral pig baiting and trapping program.

$7,650

Hume RLPB cooperative feral pig program

Holbrook, NSW

Establishment of semi-permanent pig traps in feral pig 'movement corridors'.

$8,400

Coordinated feral pig control - ACT/NSW

Tharwa, ACT; Adaminaby, NSW

Ground baiting along service roads as well as establishment of remote bait stations serviced by helicopter.

$13,000

TOTAL:

$200,000

NB: Projects are in Queensland and New South Wales reflecting the location of the main feral pig populations in Australia, as can be seen from the attached distribution map.

For further information on these projects, and the National Feral Animal Control Program , call Quentin Hart in the Bureau of Rural Sciences on (02) 6272 3801.


Feral pig distribution in Australia

map of australia showing the distribution of feral pigs

Feral pig distribution in Australia

Existing National Feral Animal Control Program

projects receiving second-year funding

Project Location Description NFACP funding

Further development of feral pig baits and control strategies

Albany and Geraldton, WA

Project involves collaboration with interstate counterparts to improve the effectiveness of feral pig baiting strategies.

$51 000

Towards national best practice strategies for bird pests of horticulture

Orange, NSW

Project is building on the outcomes of previous NHT-supported work by establishing a National approach to the management of bird pest problems in horticulture.

$67,812

Effective implementation of regional fox control programs

NSW-wide

Project is reviewing fox baiting strategies in Australia in light of recent evidence that baiting practices throughout Australia are highly variable and sub-optimal in many cases. The project will determine the appropriate levels of fox control that achieve desired production benefits and will promote ways to refine fox management on agricultural lands.

$20,000

Best practice baiting: evaluation of large-scale, community-based 1080 baiting campaigns

Blackall, Qld

Project is looking at ways to improve the effectiveness of broad-scale wild dog baiting in rangeland areas of Australia to protect sheep and cattle production. In many areas, the timing, frequency and intensity of baiting is based on tradition rather than any quantitative assessment of optimal strategy. Recent studies have shown that poor baiting practices can actually increase predation on cattle.

$37,000

Significantly improving access to information on feral animal management

National project

Project is developing an interactive website that promotes the strategic and integrated approach to managing the impacts of pest animals. It will provide a forum for 'knowledge brokering' and will be a particularly useful information source for Regional groups undertaking pest animal control under the Natural Heritage Trust.

$52,450

Field release of rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus on bait material

Venus Bay, Lenswood and Rosedale, SA

Project is investigating the potential of bait delivery of RHD to influence the timing and effectiveness of RHD outbreaks and further enhance its effectiveness.

$43,280

Assessment of risks posed by exotic vertebrates in Australia

National project

Project is using the risk assessment model recently developed by the Bureau of Rural Sciences to assess the threat posed to agriculture by a selection of exotic vertebrates already present in Australia (in captivity and newly established). A risk assessment of these species will assist State/Territory governments to make informed management decisions about the import and keeping of exotic vertebrates as well as strategies for early detection and eradication of newly established exotic species.

$27,300

TOTAL:

$298,842

For further information on these projects, and the National Feral Animal Control Program , call Quentin Hart in the Bureau of Rural Sciences on (02) 6272 3801.

Commonwealth of Australia