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Feral and invasive animal threats again in Australia

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  • Feral and invasive animal threats again in Australia

    The latest news and updates from the invasive species research and management sector in Australia

    Weeds are a major threat to the health of Australian landscapes, conservation values and the productivity and profitability of agriculture. The strategic response to this national challenge is being driven through the Australian Weeds Strategy 2017-2027 developed through the Invasive Animals and Plants Committee. The Strategy highlights the need to maintain and enhance long term research, development and extension capacity and capability.

    As a result, the Australian Government has asked our Centre to develop a collaborative 10-year investment plan for weed research, development and extension. To help the Centre put the Plan together with our collaborators and stakeholders, we are looking for the assistance of a consultant. You can find out more about our tender here.

    This issues feature image was taken by Mandy Craig. The image showcases the spread of a weed known as Cats Claw Creeper on the banks of the Timbarra River in NSW (near me! BB).

    Potential human, animal health impacts from wild dogs

    New research findings have found that wild dogs can live within 1km of urban residential areas and can carry a number of diseases that could potentially be transferred to humans and livestock, prompting new strategies to minimise the risks they could pose to human and animal health.

    This week we have released a report on the research, which formed the basis of a long-term peri-urban wild dog project in northern Australia, funded through the previous Invasive Animals CRC and the Queensland Government.

    The report’s recommendations include:

    Wild dog control in peri-urban areas is warranted for conservation purposes and for the protection of domestic pets and livestock.
    The public needs to be aware that wild dogs are encroaching onto urban areas and to be cautious and vigilant when walking in bushland and with pets.
    The development of a best-practice guide to highlight the strategies, practices and personal protective equipment required to minimise the risks of pathogen transmission to people, livestock and pets.

    $4 million cluster fencing boost for WA graziers

    Western Australian graziers have received a funding boost to develop a series of cluster fences.

    Erecting cluster fence cells in rangelands inundated with ravaging wild dogs will revive the State’s pastoral industry which has suffered “complete obliteration", a Goldfields station owner says.

    Pig Wars: GPS technology keeps track of feral pigs

    The feral pig population in Australia is growing and farmers are copping the consequences

    ABC Landline's Sally Bryant headed to North West NSW to find out how farmers are trying to combat the problem with science.

    The segment features the research of Darren Marshall from the Queensland Murray Darling Committee, who was also a professional doctorate candidate undertaking research through the Invasive Animals CRC.

    Wild dog control cameras stolen

    Unfortunately this is something we are hearing more and more.

    In the most recent incident one camera and two traps were stolen in a Victorian Wild Dog Management Zone.

    The loss of a camera is not only costly for the Government, it significantly reduces the intelligence gained from the camera that increases the efficiency of wild dog management in the immediate and surrounding areas.

    Dr Paul Meek from NSW DPI last year instigated a survey among those who use remote camera traps for invasive species management to understand how bad this problem is - more than 300 camera trap practitioners shared their economic and data losses. By further understanding the problem and how the cameras are being stolen it is hoped that strategies can be implemented to avoid further theft in future.

    Seeking consultant to prepare a national weed RD&E investment plan

    The Centre requires the assistance of a professional individual or team to work with and advise the Centre and its partners on the preparation of a National Weed Research, Development and Extension Investment Plan.

    The Plan is intended to guide co-investment by the Centre’s partners (Australian Government, State Government, industry and universities) to maximise the benefits to Australia’s environment, economy and community.

    Eureka Prizes now open

    The Australian Museum Eureka Prizes are now accepting applications for their 2018 awards.

    The prizes reward excellence in the fields of:

    research & innovation
    science engagement
    school science

    Entries close 7pm AEST on the 4th May.

    Invasive Species Project Officer wanted in QLD

    The Queensland Government's Pest Animal Research Centre is looking for a Project Officer to be directly involved in a collaborative research project to improve the management of wild dogs and feral deer. The role will include undertaking research on the ecology, impacts and management of wild dogs and feral deer in peri-urban areas. This position will be primarily working with researchers, local governments and the community.

    Application close on 20th February.

    Wool, wild dogs, and WWII – a historic survey on management

    In the 1950s, a nation-wide survey was sent to farmers asking them what they knew about dingoes. At the time, the survey was led by Professor NGW Macintosh (image supplied by USyd). Sixty years later, a new survey, being led by Lily Van Eeden also from USyd seeks to discover what has changed, what hasn’t, and what we can learn from our past. Ms Van Eeden is kindly asking farmers and wild dog managers to contribute to the study by filling out her online survey below.

    Regional Cat Management Coordinator TASMANIA

    The Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment - Invasive Species Unit, has engaged NRM North to assist local governments in the Northern Region of Tasmania to improve the levels of responsible cat ownership through implementation of the Tasmanian Cat Management Plan. They are currently seeking applications for a person to undertake this position.

    Application close on 20th February.

    To Bait or Not to Bait: A Discrete Choice Experiment on Public Preferences for Native Wildlife and Conservation Management in Western Australia

    This paper assesses community preferences for managing foxes and feral cats in WA, comparing multiple management strategies. After analysing 500 survey responses from regional and urban areas of WA, the researchers concluded that multiple 'integrated' management strategies were preferred for managing feral predators (baiting, trapping, shooting) over just baiting alone. Moreover, respondents were more likely to support control measures when the control meant increased native species populations. Community engagement was also considered to be an important mechanism for enhancing support for feral predator control.

    New study identifies not so sweet Tasmanian invader

    Dr Catriona Campbell, University of Canberra and Invasive Animals CRC graduate, studied the genetic make-up of the sugar gliders to uncover its hidden history as part of her thesis. The findings were recently published in the journal Diversity and Distributions.

    It turns out that sugar gliders are in fact an introduced pest ( well-well ! BB)into Tasmania and threatening populations of the critically endangered swift parrot, through predation.

    The paper does acknowledge that management of native species is complex and that this research provides further evidence for environmental managers in Tasmania to think about how to best manage sugar gliders, and conserve the local swift parrot population.

    New research reveals a global rise in emerging invasive alien species

    Using a global database of the first regional records of alien 'exotic' species covering the years 1500–2005 researchers have detected a surprisingly high proportion of species in recent records that have never been recorded as 'alien' before. The research notes that up to 16% of all animal and plant species have the potential to become invasive alien species. Current biosecurity approaches often rely on knowledge of already known invasive alien species, but this study highlights that early detection and eradication measures will be more important.
    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.