National Wild Dog Action Plan Stakeholder Consultative Group Forum Executive Summary

28th February and 1st March 2017

The Stakeholder Consultative Group met in Brisbane to make changes to the proposed projects for the NWDAP Stage 3 Operational Plan, report on activities under the National Wild Dog Action Plan and its Stage 2 Operational Plan and highlight areas of concern.

Joe Lane, Principle Consultant, GHD Pty Ltd presented the preliminary findings of the mid-term review of the NWDAP. GHD rated NWDAP’s completion level and acknowledged the significance of the Federal Government funding of Stages 1 and 2 for the positions of the Action Plan Implementation Manager and the Implementation Steering Committee, which were essential for the implementation of NWDAP.

The counterfactual case was assessed and found that activities would have continued but their efficiency and effectiveness was enhanced by NWDAP. The draft recommendations of the report were presented including the future of the current plan, funding, governance structure, responsibilities and accountabilities, and strategic and operational planning.

Geoff Power chaired the discussion on draft project proposals within an operational plan for the NWDAP implementation FY 2018 and 2019. These focused on:

·         best practice wild dog control at appropriate scales

·         integrated vertebrate pest animal management

·         the Skills Impact review of Certificate III in Pest Animal                    Management

·         continuing professional development of wild dog                              coordinators

·         improvements to reporting on NWDAP actions

·         measures of impact and investment, a final review of                      NWDAP and improved communications strategy.

Michele Jackson, project consultant, reported a workshop on the pest animal controller training competencies was held the day before the forum. The objective is to set a professional standard nationally for pest animal controllers to promote best practice and enable trappers to move between states. The first pilot training event for 10 candidates has been held.  To come, is training with NSW and Qld candidates (10) and in WA with 5 candidates. There will be meetings with state governments to promote the training program.

Greg Mifsud, National Wild Dog Management Coordinator, updated the delegates on the activities in community engagement including the case studies projects. There are consultants studying wild dog management groups in WA, Victoria, NSW and Queensland to describe how groups solve problems, the interventions in group management that work and don’t work and the relationship skills needed for a group to work well. The overview analysis of these case studies will be workshopped to inform better community engagement and group management.

Minky Faber, Communications Coordinator, described the videos produced (PAPP, CPE and WildDogScan) and others in production/editing phase (Cluster fencing, the Paroo Model, Gold Coast peri-urban dog control, and Wild Dogs 101). Field day exhibitions on pest animals have been held in Victoria, NSW, SA and Qld with WA and NT locked in. Twenty PestSmart publications have been either updated or produced. The NWDAP website is well subscribed and communiques have a 41% open rate. Media releases have occurred with the latest being the Pest Animal Controller project.

Jane Littlejohn, APIM, reported the measures of impacts and investment workshop was held where agreement was made on the data fields. A minimum data set was based on current voluntary data from Queensland and WildDogScan consisting of date, name, location, number of dogs sighted, number of animals killed, number of animals maimed, number of animals destroyed, number of baits used, number of control events. The reporting period will be 12 months. The metric for effort (control activity and participation) will be determined and a paper for the Invasive Plant and Animal Committee (IPAC)submitted.

Peter West, WildDogScan Project Leader, described the progress of WildDogScan for app users with GPS enabled to pin dog locations making repeat entries faster, end-of-month reports for land managers and for groups, and SMS alerts within the app. Peter is promoting awareness but more funds could be applied to this area and integration with other databases is being negotiated.

Peter Fleming, Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre (IACRC) Program Leader, updated the progress of wild dog research on co-management solutions for wild dogs in agri-ecosystems (North East NSW), peri-urban wild dog control (South East Qld) and facilitating strategic management of wild dogs

The peri-urban project showed attacks on pets and wildlife such as koalas. Camera trap data collection from the North East NSW project is contributing to the development of the Wild Dog Alert system and the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) submission for up to 40 baits/km for aerial baiting. The findings here lead into the future Centre for Invasive Species Solutions (CISS) projects.

The planned research areas for CISS are integrated management demonstration sites on a large scale including in NSW, Queensland and WA; facilitators and coordinators, peri-urban case studies and integrated approaches with deer and foxes. Tools such as digital surveillance will be progressed and their application to existing tools enhanced through community-led regional planning and management. Community engagement will continue in CISS with research and with facilitators. PestSmart will provide regional and commodity-specific extension packages. The dog portfolio can be referenced back to the Stakeholder Consultative Group Research and Development Working Group consultation process and findings. Negotiations with partners and investors continue to build on the $20 million commitment.

Acronyms

ACTA: Animal Control Technologies Australia

APIM: Action Plan Implementation Manager

APVMA: Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority

CISS: Centre for Invasive Species Solutions

CPE: Canid Pest Ejector

IACRC: Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre

IMPM: Integrated Multiple Pest Management

IPAC: Invasive Plants and Animals Committee

ISC: Implementation Steering Committee

NWDAP: National Wild Dog Action Plan

PAC: Pest Animal Controller

PAPP: Para-aminopropiophenon

SCG: Stakeholder Consultative Group

RDC: Research and Development Corporation

RTO: Registered Training Organisation