Aerial goat muster, Flinders Ranges SA

This series of images shows an aerial muster of a naturally-occurring herd of feral goats in inaccessible terrain in the North Flinders Ranges, South Australia.
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The images show (in order):
1. Within a few hours of this first photo being taken, the herd had broken up into smaller groups. This herd of 1100 goats were some of the 2000 estimated by aerial survey to have been present in 50 square kilometres of country with no roads and very poor ground access. Most of the area was rougher than shown in this photo. The area was aerially mustered with a Cessna 172 the same morning as these photos were taken, and 1600 goats were removed.
2. Goats appear to feel safe in high places, and can be difficult to dislodge. Here the plane buzzes goats which are slow to move, forcing them off the ridge and onto lower ground.
3. These 7 goats would not move off the ridge, despite being buzzed closely and repeatedly by the plane. Their coats could be seen blowing in the draft created by the plane as it flew within a few metres of them and turned sharply to one side.
4. In this image, a Cessna 172 is bringing the scattered goats into a single mob and driving them in the desired direction by flying around them in a U-shaped flight pattern. This pattern focusses them and induces them to seek to escape the U through the opening at the top. A long line of goats can be seen moving up the hill in the left of the photo. More can be seen on the ridge in the foreground, and elsewhere. Unless the goats refuse to move, the plane keeps its distance to avoid undue disturbance and promote orderly movement.
5. Here the mob is splitting in two, up the two sides of a rocky valley. This adds to the time and cost of the muster, as the goats must be reaggregated into a single mob.
6. In this image, the Cessna 172 has aggregated the scattered goats into a single mob and brought them close to more accessible terrain, where they will be handed over to a ground crew.
7. A ground crew on three motorbikes in the lower part of the picture has taken over control of the mob after a plane has aggregated the scattered goats into a single mob and brought them into more accessible terrain.
8. In this image, a ground crew on motorbikes and assisted by dogs has taken control of the herd after a plane has aggregated the scattered goats into a single mob and brought them into more accessible terrain. They are driving the goats about 13 kilometres to a set of yards from which they will be trucked out the following day to an abattoir.
9. 1600 feral goats in holding yards at the Umberatana shearing shed, North Flinders Ranges, South Australia. These goats comprised about 80% of the 2000 estimated by aerial survey to have been originally present in the 50 square kilometre area that was mustered.

Author Dr. Robert Henzell
Secondary Author Robert Henzell
Date 08/09/1979
Year 1979
Secondary title Henzell2.jpg, Henzell3.jpg, Henzell4.jpg, Henzell5.jpg, Henzell6.jpg, Henzell7.jpg, Henzell8.jpg, Henzell9.jpg, Henzell10.jpg
Edition Jpeg
Place published Image Location
Institution Animal and Plant Control Group, SA
Pages 300 dpi
Notes Notes
Region SA