Wild dog causing havoc for Pekina farmer
Pekina farmer Simon McNamara has lost 20 ewe weaners to a wild dog over the past four months.
The elusive dog has also wreaked havoc on neighbouring properties, and Mr McNamara - who farms with his brother Brian - says while he has not seen it, the wild dog is posing a significant threat to stock on their 2025 hectare grazing and cropping property, Aramaa.
"Our family has been here since 1875 and there's never been any word of a wild dog being here," he says.
Mr McNamara joined about 60 other concerned landholders and industry representatives at a meeting hosted by the Upper North Natural Resources Management Group, operating under the Northern and Yorke Natural Resources Management Board, in Orroroo last week, with another held the previous day in Hawker to similar crowds.
Participants learned more about wild dogs, how to control them and indicated an interest in forming action groups for a collaborative approach to control.
SA Wild Dog Advisory Group chair and Orroroo farmer Geoff Power said wild dog numbers inside the Dog Fence were alarming.
"The fence works well but if we get a breach we're in real strife," he says.
"There's no doubt the dogs are moving south and we're seeing that around Orroroo already. We’re going to lose an industry if we don’t get on top of it soon.”
Mr McNamara says the workshop gave him an insight into how and when to bait, trap and hunt, and an understanding of how dingoes think and act.
"This is all new to us," he says.
"It's a problem that's already here but we need to get on top of it before it gets out of control.
"We already lost about 20 ewe weaners just after harvest in January-February, they were on quite heavy stubble and it wasn't until we saw the eagles starting to hang around that we wondered what was going on.
"We found some sheep still alive with bite marks and terrible damage on their backs.
"So far we haven't been able to find the dingo responsible, it's obviously well hidden in creeks and hills and inaccessible land.
"We've been out three times a night looking for it but so far haven't had any success."
Northern and Yorke region
Kevin TeagueLandscape Team Leader for the Upper North DistrictPhone: 0428 990 675.
South Australian Arid Lands region
Heather MillerDingo Project ManagerPhone: 8648 5986.