Farmers told wild dogs are on the move
Wild dogs are heading south - with some already roaming properties near Black Rock, Pekina and Robertstown - and landholders are being advised that management is everyone’s responsibility.
About 100 farmers and industry representatives gathered at Hawker and Orroroo last week to learn about how wild dogs think and act, best practice in controlling them and to see practical demonstrations on setting traps and baiting.
Hosted by the Upper North Natural Resource Management Group, operating under the Northern and Yorke Natural Resource Management Board, workshop participants were urged to act now in managing wild dogs and were encouraged to form groups to collaboratively implement action plans.
Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre National Wild Dog facilitator Greg Mifsud said control was the responsibility of every landholder.
"You can't assume you don't have them on your place, you need to be part of a program delivering some form of control," he says.
"There are already many small groups out there but they currently deliver control programs independently of each other. If these groups work cooperatively and deliver control programs in a coordinated fashion, then we can deliver more effective broad scale programs.
"You need a simple plan that builds wild dog control into your program and property management and be proactive as well as reactive.
“A mate of mine says you need to “manage dogs like you manage your water’.”
Mr Misfud spoke about the importance of using 1080 to control wild dogs, but emphasised the need to use a mix of control methods including trapping, baiting, shooting and fencing, saying one method alone will not control the problem.
Biosecurity SA's Peter Bird spoke about aerial baiting used outside of the Northern and Yorke region where permit allows, and the effective use of strychnine.
"Dogs are mating now, so this is the time of the year that if there's a dog in the neighbourhood it's going to turn up in your backyard," he says.
Wild dog trapper Allan (Alby) Ireland from Narrina Station, Blinman, encouraged landholders to look for signs of wild dogs.
"You might not see tracks, but everything panics when a wild dog is around, your sheep might be restless, or roos that are normally always seen in one area aren't there any more, or your sheep dogs are acting differently," he says.
There was a bait injection demonstration, information about the Biteback program and 10 wild dog traps were given away as door prises at the two sessions.
SA wild Dog Advisory Group chair and local farmer Geoff Power was MC, and the workshop was opened by the Northern and Yorke NRM board member and local Orroroo farmer Grant Chapman.