SA workshop spreads the word about wild dogs

South Australia’s Wild Dog Coordinator Marty Bower spends weeks at a time in the more remote areas of the state, although his official base is now the ‘big smoke’ of Adelaide.

He recently spoke to landholders in the small Mid-North town of Peterborough, to introduce wild dog management concepts and controls to those livestock producers who view wild dogs as a fringe issue as they currently suffer only occasional incursions.

Marty spoke from the state-level: “My focus was to get these guys together to discuss the integrated control options they can use to prevent things getting any worse. We covered best practice baiting, trapping and shooting. We talked about the wild dog problems further north in SA where it’s a much more familiar issue to landholders.  We also covered setting up community control groups, and using Wild Dog Scan. My main message was about the need for all-round cooperative control programs between land managers.

“I also demonstrated how to use a Canid Pest Ejector (CPE), a useful tool in the fringe areas with occasional wild dog incursions. CPEs are ideal to use in this region and because they can’t be moved they manage some concerns landholders have relating to baits and working dogs.”

Greg Mifsud, National Wild Dog Management Coordinator provided a national perspective and highlighted the importance of coordinated control regardless of land tenure.

Greg pointed out: “It is crucial that neighbours work together regularly in both fox and dog control to ensure predator populations don’t increase and cause significant costs to livestock producers”.

Greg explained that wild dogs have already been found to the east and west of Burra on the edge of the agricultural country and only 150km outside Adelaide. “Once they get into more populated areas with smaller properties the harder it is to control them. That’s why it’s important to inform landholders about what to look for and how to manage dogs now, before they become established.”

Natural Resource Management’s (NRM) Northern and Yorke Ranger, Perri Hendriks said the workshop was a great opportunity for landholders to learn more about predator control, and take back new knowledge and techniques to implement on their property.

“The opportunity to have both the State and National Wild Dog Management Coordinators come to our region and share their expertise around feral predator management was invaluable.”

Marty Bower reinforced that the key message at the local level is to make sure local NRM officers are aware of the presence of wild dogs in the area. He said: “It’s in everyone’s best interest to communicate with NRM and work cooperatively to manage foxes and wild dogs, and so be as successful as other community control groups around the country with the help of the National Wild Dog Action Plan.”

For information about undertaking a predator control program or buying fox and dog baits, see https://www.naturalresources.sa.gov.au/northernandyorke/plants-and-animals/pest-plants-and-animals/pest-animals

Image: Marty Bower, SA Wild Dog Coordinator, demonstrating how to use a Canid Pest Ejector at the recent Predator Control for Production Workshop in Peterborough.

To contact Marty Bower T: 0419 835 120 E: marty.bower@sa.gov.au