Feral animals continue to put significant pressure on agricultural industries during drought conditions.
The Australian Government has provided Queensland with $5.6 million in drought assistance funding to support improved pest animal management in drought-affected areas during the 2013-14 and 2014-16 financial years.
Phase 1 projects
Phase 1 funding has been made available to organisations such as resource management groups, local governments and organisations directly involved in the delivery of pest animal management.
The majority of this funding is complementing existing wild dog and feral pig management programs in drought-affected areas west of the Great Dividing Range.
Some funding has also been used to complement crucial feral animal projects including rabbit management activities in drought-affected areas east of the Great Dividing Range.
Phase 1 projects approved included:
- Central Western Queensland Remote Area Planning and Development Board project for region wide strategic wild dog management
- Condamine Alliance project to expand wild dog, feral pig and rabbit management
- South West NRM project to increase wild dog management
- Charters Towers Regional Council project targeting wild dogs through trapping and baiting, and feral pigs using aerial shooting
- Central Highlands Regional Resources Use Planning Cooperative project to integrate strategic baiting and aerial shooting of feral pigs
- Balonne Shire Council, representing Balonne, Western Downs, Goondiwindi and Maranoa, the Queensland Murray Darling Catchments NRM and local wild dog/pest syndicate leaders to increase wild dog trapping through training and mentoring programs, and feral pig management through aerial shooting
- AgForce Queensland to continue coordination of wild dog and feral pig management, and landholder training days.
- The Gulf Catchments for a collaborative project targeting feral pigs and wild dogs through the delivery of integrated and innovative pest animal management across eight Shires in north-west Queensland.
- Burnet Mary Regional Group for wild dog and feral pig control focusing on a landscape scale approach, targeting key hotspots for pest species and capacity building for landholders, ensuring longevity past the end of the project.
- South East Queensland Catchments for additional complementary actions to limit the impacts of wild dogs, feral pigs and rabbits on agricultural enterprises.
- Fitzroy Basin for a project in the western broader regions of the Central Highlands and upper and central regions of the Dawson Catchment. Funds will contribute to direct control and management costs implemented by land managers for pest animal control in high density areas.
So far these projects have provided trapping support to landholders who manage 5.5 million hectares, aerial shooting across 1.4 million hectares, aerial baiting over more than 10 million hectares and baiting and monitoring equipment deployed on a further 300,000 hectares.
Phase 2 projects
Phase 2 funding has been approved for regional projects that build on previous successes and build landholder and organisational capacity to maintain pest animal management programs into the future.
Phase 2 projects approved include:
- Western Downs Regional Council, to deliver a feral pig program, wild dog program, and a monitoring program to assess control operations.
- South West NRM Ltd, to reduce the impact of wild dogs, feral pig and rabbits on rangeland grazing and ecology.
- NQ Dry Tropics, in partnership with the Regional Pest Management Committee, Central Highlands Regional Resources Use Planning Cooperative and Dalrymple Landcare Committee Inc, to reduce the impacts of feral pigs, wild dogs and feral deer.
- Condamine Alliance, to reduce the impact of pest animals during drought conditions, including the appointment of a mentor to build capacity in communities.
- Fitzroy Basin Association, to control wild dogs and feral pigs by building capacity for landholders to adopt long-term solutions.
- Southern Gulf Catchments Ltd, to reduce pest animal impacts with activities including extra wild dog trapping, aerial baiting, aerial shooting of pigs and permanent baiting stations for dogs and pigs.
- Northern Gulf Resource, to undertake pest animal management of wild dogs and feral pigs, including trapping and baiting.
- Granite Borders Landcare Committee to target wild dogs, feral pigs and deer by working with landowners, local governments and NRM groups.
- Desert Channels Queensland, to target feral pigs in riparian areas upstream of current regional scale control activities in the Lake Eyre Basin and around high value ecological sites.
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