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Feral campaigns continue in Aus for 2018

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  • Feral campaigns continue in Aus for 2018

    The latest news and updates from the invasive species research and management sector.
    Hi Happy New Year
    Welcome to Issue 332. Enjoy!

    The CEO yarn
    Welcome to 2018 and I hope you enjoyed some R&R during the holiday period.

    A new paper recently published by our Western Australian colleagues showcased the need for large scale, intensive and continuous wild dog control if you are going to see sustained reductions in wild dog numbers and associated positive outcomes for the agriculture sector.

    Before the Christmas break, we also heard exciting news that the Crest-tailed Mulgara, a small carnivorous marsupial thought extinct in NSW, was re-discovered in the Sturt National Park. The team involved in this discovery have said that reductions in populations of invasive animals, such as rabbits and feral predators, is thought to have benefited this species through increases in ground cover. It reiterates the importance of rabbit biocontrol as a strategic conservation tool. The group is now setting up feral-free enclosures in the region, and undertaking baiting, shooting and trapping programs to totally eradicate feral cats, foxes and rabbits from within these areas.

    It is great to see both the environmental and agricultural benefits of invasive animal control. Thanks to Reece Pedler, from UNSW Sydney's Wild Deserts project, for providing us with this weeks featured image of the Crest-tailed Mulgara.

    Enjoy this issue of the Feral Flyer,

    Andreas Glanznig
    CEO | Centre for Invasive Species Solutions

    Feral cats now classified as pest species in Victoria
    Just before the Christmas break, the Victorian State Government committed to change the law so that feral cats can now be managed like wild dogs, potentially paving the way for baiting, trapping and even a bounty.

    In Victoria, 43 native threatened species are directly at risk from feral cat predation, and Environment Minister Lily D’Ambrosio described the declaration as an important milestone in the protection of Victoria’s threatened wildlife.
    Read more

    PestSmart Feral Photos and Videos competition uncovers rare vision of fox attacking wallaby

    Brian Summers was the winner of the video category of our 2017 Feral Photo and Video competition, with this footage of a fox attacking an adult wallaby in broad daylight.

    The footage has been watched over 15,000 times via YouTube and social media.

    The footage was captured by remote camera on a rural property on the outskirts of southern Canberra, and showcases how foxes are certainly becoming much more brazen and willing to take on large native marsupials.

    Read the full story of how the footage was capture here

    Rare marsupial, thought extinct in NSW, sighted again
    A tiny marsupial that was thought to be locally extinct from New South Wales for more than 100 years has re-emerged in the state’s west.
    The Crest-tailed Mulgara, can still be found around other parts of Australia in desert areas, but was recently discovered living in the northwest of NSW in Tibooburra’s Sturt National Park.
    Reduced rabbit populations during the past 20 years, due to release of rabbit calicivirus, is thought to have benefited the species, by leading to increases in ground cover.
    Reductions in populations of introduced predators such as cats and foxes has also increased the numbers of small rodents for Mulgara to prey on.
    Read more

    Mending Fences in the War Between Dingoes and Sheep

    The dingo (or wild dog) fence, a network of wires and posts, runs from the southern coast to near the eastern coast in a squiggly line, almost twice the length of the United States-Mexico border. Some parts have stood for over 100 years.

    But who are the people in charge of its upkeep and what is the role of the fence?

    This interesting article written by Selena Solomon from the New York Times introduces us to Alan Walton who is one of those responsible for keeping the fence in order.
    Read more

    Congratulations to our Communications Manager
    We'd like to congratulate our Communications Manager, Ian McDonald, who recently graduated with a Master of Science Communication from the Australian National University.

    Ian is using the learnings from his degree to continue to communicate the outcomes of our research centre to you in new and dynamic ways.

    Congratulations on this excellent achievement Ian!

    Supporting community leadership through cooperative action on rabbits

    The Victorian Rabbit Action Network has developed a series of short videos to share learnings from their collaborative, community-led approaches to rabbit management. Aspects of this project were initially funded through the Invasive Animals CRC and it is great to see the project continuing.
    Watch the video series

    Feedback sought for Victorian Feral Horse Strategic Action Plan

    Parks Victoria have developed the draft Protection of the Alpine National Park - Feral Horse Strategic Action Plan 2018-2020. The plan outlines where and how feral horses will be managed and proposes a three-year program to reduce the impacts on natural and cultural values in the Alpine National Park. The draft plan is currently open for feedback until February 2, 2018.
    View the draft strategic plan and provide feedback here
    (image of a healthy alpine mossbed versus horse impacts - used with permission from Parks Victoria)

    Wild dog management in Australia: An interactional approach to case studies of community-led action
    Funded through the Invasive Animals CRC and its partners, this research aimed to increase our understanding of how community groups work together to manage wild dogs. The paper notes that to achieve collective community action for wild dog management you need to create trust, reciprocity and interpersonal relationships between the individuals who are working together. In particular creating a strong trust between the community and key stakeholder groups is important.

    Assessing wild dog control strategies in WA
    This paper assessed the current control strategies being used to the manage wild dogs in Western Australia. The results indicated that current wild dog control activities in WA are not sufficient to reduce wild dog abundance within the state barrier fence. It suggests that numbers can be effectively controlled only when a combination of control techniques are applied on a large scale, intensively and continuously.

    This paper provides more evidence towards integrated (baiting, shooting, trapping) and landscape scale control for wild dogs to achieve positive outcomes.

    Weed seed spread and its prevention: The role of roadside wash down
    Vehicles are one of the major vectors of long-distance weed seed spread. A study assessed the type of seeds found at wash-down facilities at five locations in Queensland over a 3-year period. It found seeds from 145 plant species, including a significant amount of the highly invasive parthenium weed. It is noted that 61% of seeds were from introduced species.

    It concluded that roadside wash down facilities are important and can remove a substantial amount of viable weed seed from vehicles.

    If you are travelling long distances, it is recommended to use these facilities to avoid weed seed spread around the country.

    Efficacy of a commercial vaccine against different strains of rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus
    This study investigated the ability of a commercial rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus (RHDV) vaccine (Cylap®) to protect rabbits from disease caused by two different strains of the virus (v351 and K5) which are used for wild rabbit control in Australia. In the study, all vaccinated rabbits were exposed to very high doses of the virus either by direct oral dosing or by exposure to infected rabbit livers.

    The study concluded that all vaccinated rabbits were protected against rabbit haemorrhagic disease, indicating that the Cylap® vaccine is effective against both strains of the virus under experimental conditions.

    Monitoring the impact of feral horses on vegetation condition using remote sensors

    This study used field observations of vegetation condition at a network of sites in the Australian alps where horses were present or absent. The study found that there was difference in vegetation and landscape function between the sites where horses were present or absent. The analysis supports the hypothesis that feral horses have a negative impact on the condition of Australian alpine vegetation and as such need to be managed appropriately.

    Terrain NRM - Queensland
    Terrain is an independent not for profit organisation working with the community, industry and government in Australia’s Wet Tropics region. Terrain’s role is to work with communities to ensure sustainable management of our water, land, soils and biodiversity. We are custodians of a community based regional NRM plan, which helps determine goals and priorities across the Wet Tropics.

    Add your community group to PestSmart !
    There is no Spring without Winter, without Mistakes there is no Learning. There is no Life without Death, without Doubts there is no Faith. There is no Peace without War, without Fear there is no Courage. For without Mistakes, Doubts and Fears there are no pathways to Wisdom.
    Ron Owen.

  • #2
    Re: Feral campaigns continue in Aus for 2018

    Well Big Bunny not to give you a hard time but how does the Aussie government expect farmers and ranchers (and other hardy types) to shoot feral cats after the Aussie government took away all of the guns? Will the government loan the good people in the outback guns and ammo?
    The sweetest bolt action rifle I ever shot was a rebored .308 Enfield SMLE.
    [B]Grumpy Old Fart [/B][IMG][/IMG]


    • #3
      Re: Feral campaigns continue in Aus for 2018

      Well @noname762, while things are pretty restricted here, farmers & graziers can have (on successful application to Police Commish in their State) up to Category "D" firearms for pest/stock purposes.

      But not pistols of any sort. A sore point out West/in the Bush.

      All ammo so used is a full tax deduction, as are firearms exclusively used on the property/farm for agricultural/grazing purposes.

      Some states [I believe] have bounties on foxes, pigs, wild dogs and cats - but not NSW where I live - unfortunately. Pure dingoes are fully protected as are all native birds(some in plague proportions - so need a permit from wildlife depts., Section #120/121 NPAct '85 in NSW).

      This allows the farmers in the Group to use up to MSSAs (military style semi-automatics) but with heavy security storage requirements only if they are part of a pest-control "group of farmers", so fully capacity P/A shotguns, SKS, SLR, AG42B, AR16s etc all are permitted.

      If not in a pest-control program/group then property owners with 51% of PP income can have only up to Cat "C" = a five round limit on mag capacity and no S/A CF is allowed, definitely no MSSAs.

      In comparison- ordinary shooters [like in my Club] can only access Cats 'A' & 'B'. Or basically - no semi-autos, not even .22 nor any calibre or any pump-action shotguns. However any x10 mag P/A rifles or B/Action are quite OK!(so far...)

      Many of course in far remote areas [I believe] have quite a bit of other equipment stored, pre-1996

      But the screws are forever tightening, new laws and Regs every 6 months or so are invented by police or demanded by ignorant, grand-standing politicians.

      EG - Recently after some U-tubes on the new Adler101 plus a media campaign by Greens/police and others, lever-action shotguns were arbitrarily moved from Cat "A" to Cat "B". Been around since 1880s - but suddenly via fear-politics, a threat to the community!

      Each 6 Aus States are slightly different, as are the 2 Territories, but basically that's it. Not too bad, but getting progressively worse via the "terrorist threat" with Islamists in our major cities.

      A "mass murder" is defined as 5 dead here, excluding the perp.
      So we have had none since 1996 crack-down by that rat PM Howard- but mass killings have continued - But of course they now use many other means (Fire, knife, vehicle etc) and these are not called mass-murders by press and only called something less emotive ("rampage, disaster, tragedy"- such is their anti-gun phobia.

      It pays to remember :- Registration is [eventually] confiscation.....

      Hope that has helped, but I'm no expert!

      There is no Spring without Winter, without Mistakes there is no Learning. There is no Life without Death, without Doubts there is no Faith. There is no Peace without War, without Fear there is no Courage. For without Mistakes, Doubts and Fears there are no pathways to Wisdom.
      Ron Owen.