This case study provides an example of an industry recognised ‘best practice’ community-driven partnership approach to local wild dog management that operates across all land tenures. The approach attempts to stop wild dogs from entering grazing lands by creating a buffer zone within adjoining bushland areas. In recent years, the local plan approach has achieved a dramatic reduction in stock losses and wild dog activity due to the vigilance of all parties involved, particularly local landholders.
The Brindabella/Wee Jasper integrated wild dog management plan using the nil-tenure methodology has been widely recognised and adopted as the preferred model plan for wild dog control.
This innovative approach to wild dog and fox management covers an area of approximately 150,000 hectares at the northern end of the Australian Alps.
The Brindabella and Wee Jasper cooperative wild dog/fox plan was first trialled in 2001-02 after successive years of high stock losses in the Brindabella and Wee Jasper areas. It was the first integrated wild dog management plan to use the nil-tenure approach. A meeting held with valley landholders in October 2001 resulted in a strong recommendation that due to the current success of the trial program and positive support of all land managers (public and private) the program be extended to cover a three year period. This resulted in the formation of the plan (2002-05) and a contract was signed between the former Yass Rural Lands Protection Board, Forests NSW and the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service.
Under the initial plan, attacks on stock decreased by an average of 75% per year.
- overcoming the traditional approach to pest species management, e.g. “all the dogs/weeds are coming from your lands”
- clearly identifying any shortfall in existing resource allocations
- clearly committing all land managers to an agreed course of action with common goals across a range of land tenures with the approach being catchment or landscape-focussed rather than focussed on land tenure alone
- documenting the more efficient and effective use of resources
- identifying current gaps in existing management/control programs
- improving ‘on the ground’ working relationships with all land managers.
Adapted from NSW Department of Heritage and Environment website
The figure above right provides a graphical summary showing the significant reduction in sheep losses following the establishment of the cooperative wild dog program and increased resource commitment 14 years ago.
The National Wild Dog Action Plan is an industry initiative endorsed by Government.