Wild dogs collared

GLEN Innes is now at the centre of one of the country’s largest wild dog research projects as scientists and local landholders work together to find the most effective rates for aerial baiting.

Earlier this month 24 wild dogs in the Red Range area were trapped and fitted with global positioning system (GPS) tracking devices.

The $1.33million NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) project aims to improve the understanding and management of wild dogs.

Data from the GPS collars will give researchers vital information on how the animals behave and better equip them and landholders on effective management strategies.

“One key outcome from our work near Walcha in 2010 and 2011, was that more than 90 per cent of the wild dogs we trapped and tracked were killed by aerial baits when a rate of 40 baits per kilometre was used.” NSWs DPI researcher Dr Guy Ballard said.

NSW DPI is working closely with local landholders, NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service and New England Livestock Health and Pest Authority (LHPA) to measure the success of aerial baiting with 1080 poison at rates of 10 and 40 baits per kilometre.

Dr Ballard said the project results will be used to inform federal decision makers about the most effective rate for control.

“Our ultimate aim is to reduce the negative impacts of wild dogs on livestock enterprises, local communities and the environment,” he said.

“While we can track the collars, if anyone finds a collar or shoots a dog with a collar, we would appreciate its return to ensure we maximise data retrieval.”

New England LHPA’s annual aerial wild dog baiting program, which covers the research area, will be used to deliver baits for the project.

Local residents are encouraged to contact NSW DPI 6738 8500 or NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service 6732 5133 if they need more information or if they kill a dog with a collar.

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