Communication Extension Projects

Under the National Wild Dog Action Plan there are are a number of communications and extension projects funded by the Commonwealth and Western Australian Governments. Those projects funded in the Stage 2 Operational plan covering financial years 2016 and 2017 are listed.

Field days for promotion of new technologies.

Introduction:

Field days are popular events for livestock producers, advisors and environmental land managers where they get information, explanations and demonstrations face to face. The Commonwealth and Western Australian Governments have given NWDAP special project funds to run exhibits at just a few of the many hundreds of field days around Australia.

Progress:

The NWDAP worked with staff from the Invasive Animals CRC, Australian Wool Innovation and Animal Control Technologies Australia to put on exhibits at the Bendigo Sheep and Wool Show, the Northern Beef Research Update in Rockhampton, the SA Merino Field Days at Murray Bridge, the National Landcare Conference in Melbourne and the Vertebrate Pest Conference in Orange. The featured new technologies exhibited were canid pest ejectors (CPEs) and the newly approved PAPP baits, both for wild dog and fox control. There was overwhelming interest in the CEP demonstrations on how to set and disarm them, best practice tips for their use in different landscapes and their maintenance and how to purchase them (which differs between States). Over 100 people stopped to absorb the detailed explanations of a host of tools at these field days. See video CEP and ACTA website for more information.

The features of the CEP over ground baits are the 1080 is protected from biodegrading within a sealed plastic capsule, the 1080 cant be dragged away by any animal (avoids caching of ground baits, misplacement and lost baits and non target species exposure), the lure heads can be used multiple times, animals other than dogs and foxes don’t have the vertical pulling force sufficient to trigger the poison ejector mechanism and a triggered CPE guarantees the entire poison dose went directly into the mouth of the dog or fox. There was a lot of interest from producers with many neighbours with smaller blocks where there is a fear of baits being moved from where they were placed causing accidental poisoning of pet and working dogs. There was also interest from land managers who wanted permanent bait sites they could arm with poison as needed to complement more seasonal control tools.

PAPP generated interest from land managers in periurban areas where the risk of accidental poisoning of roaming domestic dogs was high or where producers were concerned there is no antidote to 1080 poisoning. PAPP has an antidote that must be administered by a vet and all the restrictions that apply to 1080 use also apply to PAPP in terms of neighbour notification, accredited users, distance restrictions and handling. See PAPP video and ACTA website for more information.

The older tools of manufactured 1080 baits for dogs, foxes and pigs and leg hold traps were also exhibited with other tools such as aerial baiting and shooting discussed. A 3-D satellite image model featuring higher rainfall and rangelands landscapes helped explain the best locations for deployment of all the dog and fox tools discussed and the impact on effectiveness of tools when there was a mix of pigs or dogs or foxes in that landscape. Other pests discussed included cats, mice, rabbits and deer and thanks goes to ACTA and the IACRC which had experts present to answer queries.

Future activities:

More events are planned in early 2017 including Wagin Woolorama and the Northern Territory Cattlemans Association Conference in Darwin.

For best practice use of control tools visit www.pestsmart.org.au

Videos on wild dog control

Introduction:

The use of videos on organisations and social media websites is commonplace as they engage an individuals attention for a short time, impart information and demonstration and simply link the viewer with more internet sites for further information. The NWDAP received special project funds from the Commonwealth and Western Australian Governments with support from the Qld Remote Area Regional Development Board, Invasive Animals CRC, Australian Wool Innovation and Animal Control Technologies Australia to produce the first few of a series of videos.

Progress:

The initial videos cover setting and use of Canid Pest Ejectors and an introduction of the use of the WildDogScan app and website for mapping wild dog sightings, impacts and control by individuals or groups. An explanation of what the new canid toxin PAPP is, how it works and how it is best used is in final editing and two videos are in production on the cluster fencing approach in Qld and the community driven nil tenure approach which originated in the Paroo Shire, Qld.

Future activities:

Other videos in the planning stages are periurban wild dog control and 1080 mythbusting.

 

Case Studies showcasing community approaches

Introduction:

Case studies can simply describe a story or go into science like depth of analysis. Either way can uncover what and why people do things and what happened as a result. NWDAP is fortunate to have received special project funding from the Commonwealth and Western Australian Governments to fund the investigation and promotion of case studies of wild dog groups. The diversity of how local community driven wild dog groups operate, their members with differing backgrounds and skill sets, diverse landscapes and control methods, and a range of challenges they face, means there is a wealth of experience to be shared between all those interested in improving wild dog control.

Progress:

A series of case studies and media features have commenced for selected groups highlighting particular aspects of how communities in WA, NSW, Vic an Qld approached forming their group, problem solving and seeking help and advice. Some of the features highlighted will be the roles of administrative assistance, external coordinators, external facilitation, leadership, community participation, access to control tools and better use of control tools and access to planning tools.

Wild Dog Scan

Introduction:

WildDogScan development under the IACRC by the NSW DPI has been given a funding boost through the Commonwealth Government as a NWDAP special project. Although WildDogScan is up and running for the community to upload sightings, impacts and control of wild dogs, behind the scenes the computer programmers are continually improving its functions based on feedback from on ground users and local wild dog management groups.

Progress:

The program is accessible via a mobile app which stores data for later upload when in reception range meaning an event can be recorded immediately when the motivation is high. Photos of wild dogs can be submitted by users on the map which are available for others to share in real time. Data can be shared in some jurisdictions, a list that is continually growing. A dashboard summary of data can be downloaded by groups or jurisdictions with data sharing capacity. There is also an alert notification capacity groups can request where emails are automatically sent to local wild dog group members when an attack is recorded in their area. This email contains a link to the WildDogScan map so the record can be viewed and assessed by the recipient.

The message on how to use WildDogScan is out there, through information pack handouts, field days and workshops and the video. Groups and authorities and agencies are wanting to know what this program can offer. The NSW DPI, Northern Tablelands and Western Local Land Services, WA Depratment of Agriculture and Food, Qld AgForce , Granite Borders Landcare Group and groups in Crookwell and Oberon have all received information. New local groups are setting up their management on line all the time in South-East NSW; Meekatharra and Carnarvon, WA; Central Highlands Qld and Northern and York NRM, SA.

Future activities:

Enhancing WildDogScan with WildDogAlert data

 

Community engagement network

Introduction:

The benefits of independent facilitation to help community groups get started with diverse membership, negotiate objectives and plans between individuals and organisations with different needs and providing coordination, administration or reporting skills are widely acknowledged and supported in natural resource management and have been seen in the Landcare movement for decades.

The diversity of needs and objectives, the trauma of the impact, and the financial, regulatory or philosophical constraints on individuals and organisations that are often entrenched commonly creates an environment of conflict in which wild dog coordinators must initially work. Special skills are therefore needed by our Wild Dog Coordinators.

Progress:

Greg Mifsud, National Wild Dog Facilitator, is leading the ongoing professional development of wild dog facilitators and coordinators under a NWDAP special project funded by the Commonwealth and Western Australian Governments. Other support has come from Australian Wool Innovation, South Australian NRM, Invasive Animals CRC and NSW Local Land Services. Wild Dog Coordinators from Qld, SA, NSW, Vic and WA have attended two face to face training sessions and also joined remote electronic forums; learning from each other, science researchers and social researchers.

Future activities:

The IACRCs program in community engagement has informed new training and techniques for our coordinators. Further training will occur in 2017.

For details of some of the research findings in community engagement see: https://www.pestsmart.org.au/people-and-pests/

PestSmart website content

Introduction:

As best practice evolves it follows that all hard and soft copies of advisory material must be kept current. The NWDAP received special project funds from the Commonwealth and Western Australian Governments to update and distribute a range of PestSmart material.

Progress:

Twenty documents have been targeted after an inventory done under a previous Commonwealth Government funded special project.

www.pestsmart.org.au is a vast resource for land managers looking for practical advice, best practice, scientific evidence, or policy insights. It is laid out by each pest species and has a search function for research papers, guide books, standard operating procedures, codes of practice, fact sheets and videos. Information pages accompany each resource including when it was last updated so you can see what is current and informed by experts.

Some publications of note are:

Future activities:

Resources will be updated in the future as required.

Metrics

Introduction:

The NWDAP states that nationally consistent metrics for assessment of wild dog impacts, management efficacy and cost effectiveness of wild dog management for local, state and national scales will be developed and adopted. The data inputs listed in the NWDAP include cost effectiveness, participation, control activity, stock attacks, stock loss, productivity, number of local plans, number of baits, number of trappers, and unidentified social and environmental measures. The NWDAP has had two special project funds for the development and adoption of metrics from the Commonwealth, NSW, SA, Qld and WA governments and Meat and Livestock Australia.

Progress:

The first project for FY2015/16 aimed to develop metrics and the second for FY2016/17 aimed to get national agreement and roll out. A gold standard set of metrics has been delivered in FY16/17 and current discussions rest with the Stakeholder Consultative Group Working Group for metrics, agency members of which have the ecological expertise to propose practical and cost effective compromises.  This project is delayed.

Future activities:

Supporting the activities and information needs of the Working Group for metrics.

Review

Introduction:

The mid term review of the NWDAP is an element expected by all stakeholders to ensure accountability for outcomes, the delivery of outcomes or the changing of direction if the environment changes. The Commonwealth and Western Australian Governments have provided funds to carry out the review under a NWDAP special project.

Progress:

GHD Pty Ltd is conducting the independent review of NWDAP and will provide its final report in March 2017.

Future activities:

As progress reports are given to the Implementation Steering Committee up to February, they will inform its decisions on current special projects and future investment needs.

Future special projects and other investment needs

Introduction:

The NWDAP provides guiding principles for best practice in wild dog management (control operations on ground and management policy and capacity building in knowledge and skills). The plan sets out actions available for all stakeholders to pursue to enhance the quality of wild dog management. These principles and actions are applicable from 2014 to 2019. Additionally, during financial years 2015/16 and 2016/17, an operational plan for the Implementation Steering Committee aims to deliver a series of special projects funded by the Commonwealth and Western Australian Governments with support including from the Invasive Animals CRC, Animal Control Technologies Australia and Australian Wool Innovation. These projects cover field days, case studies, videos, professional development of coordinators, extension resources, WildDogScan development and negotiating nationally standardised measures for wild dog management.

Also falling under the supervision of the Implementation Steering Committee is the securing of future investment in the national coordination of the NWDAP.

Progress:

To secure ongoing funding for national coordination for NWDAP, ideas were generated during the Stakeholder Consultative Group workshop of July 2016. These have been expanded into project concepts within a discussion paper released to stakeholders for comment. The list of projects addresses all issues raised by the NWDAP and not just national coordination. It includes funding for on ground control as sectors pull out, increasing the communications effort targeting community acceptance and extension and training needs.

Future activities:

The stakeholder consultation period end of 15th December enables project lobbying by the Implementation Steering Committee with various potential funders and supporters during January and February 2017 and any successful concepts can be confirmed in FY2017/18 budgets by April/May 2017 and developed into project plans and thus contracts before the start of FY2017/18. This time line fits with organisations budget planning processes which commence in October/November and close by February/March for budget approval by May.

National Coordination

Introduction:

The NWDAP includes governance arrangements for special project funding and sole lead roles for the Implementation Steering Committee (with the Action Plan Implementation Manager) on 18 out of 35 activities under the plan.  This highlights the importance of a committee enabled for national coordination. It also highlights the shared responsibility of the other stakeholders in delivering 17 actions under the plan. The Implementation Steering Committee, Action Plan Implementation Manage, part time Communications Coordinator and Stakeholder Consultative and Working Groups receive special project funding from the Commonwealth and Western Australian Governments.

Progress:

The Implementation Steering Committee has met 7 times from FY2015/16 to November 2016. Matters progressed included the consultancy contracts for national metrics, consultancy tenders for the pest animal controller training package and the independent mid term review of NWDAP, key messages for 1080 and PAPP, submissions to WA, NSW and Victorian reviews on wild dog policy elements, support and requests for R&D, Stakeholder Consultative Group annual forum planning, reporting from SCG members, NWDAP gap assessment, future investment mapping, updating national firearm standard operating procedures, reporting to the Commonwealth Government and media engagement.

Future activities:

Matters for upcoming ISC meetings include but are not limited to ongoing special project governance, ongoing SCG consultation on future investment, future project development and advocacy aligned to NWDAP, special project development for NWDAP operational plan FY2017/18, assessment of and consultation with the SCG on mid term review findings, reporting to the Commonwealth Government and media engagement.

The National Wild Dog Action Plan is an industry initiative endorsed by Government.

Last updated: August 9, 2017