The SA Arid Lands Landscape Board offers the Biteback program to assist regional land managers inside the fence with best practice control for wild dogs, to coordinate a landscape-scale approach to control methods, and to impact on the wild dog population inside the fence.
GROUND BAITING FOR WILD DOGS INSIDE THE DOG FENCE (2023 CALENDAR YEAR)
The total number of baits landholders inside the dog fence within the SA Arid Lands (SAAL) region placed on their properties during the past six baiting periods is shown in Graph 1. It also shows the number of baits landholders must place to meet the mandatory baiting requirements of one bait per 1km of vehicle track in spring and autumn.
The total number of baits distributed inside the dog fence in spring 2023 increased by 15,470 baits from the previous baiting period in autumn 2023 and is the second highest baiting effort over the six baiting seasons. While the increase is an improvement, the number of baits distributed inside the fence is still well short of the mandatory level of 71,983 baits that need to be distributed inside the fence in spring and again in autumn each year.
The SA Arid Lands Landscape Board encourages all property managers to work towards the mandatory baiting level required, to ensure wild dog activity and stock impacts remain low. The mandatory level of baiting is a precautionary control measure and must be completed, even with the absence of wild dog activity.
All unused baits must be destroyed within one week of the end of the authorised period (12 months maximum), by burning or burial in a disposal pit below 0.5m, as specified on the Approval to Possess 1080 Bait form. Properties that have not undertaken ground baiting in the past 12 months are potentially in breach of the LandscapeSouth Australia Act 2019 and regulations. Properties that have not received any baits in the past 12 months are strongly encouraged to contact the board’s biosecurity officers to organise a bait order. Properties not engaging in baiting may be subject to compliance actions
MONITORING OF WILD DOG ACTIVITY AND IMPACTS
The number of wild dogs controlled (shot and trapped), the number of wild dog signs reported (seen, tracks and scats) and impacts to stock over the past three years is shown in Graph 2.
The graph shows a significant decline in both the number of wild dogs controlled and the number of reported wild dog signs inside the dog fence in the past 12 months.
While there have been no new reports of stock losses on inside-fence properties since the end of June 2023, this could be due to a decline in properties reporting wild dog activity, down from 38 per cent in autumn 2023 to 11 per cent in spring 2023.
The quality of the data on wild dog activity is dependent on information supplied via the return of hard copy maps and by using the WildDogScan app. Land managers are encouraged to continue to report using the app or return paper maps so data can be analysed for trends.
The autumn 2024 paper maps will be sent to all land managers in early January. Please return any spring 2023 or older maps as soon as possible so data can be reviewed. A blank map with no wild dog activity noted for the season is still valuable data.
Please contact the board’s Biosecurity team for instructions on how to report no dog activity using the WildDogScan app if you are unsure on 8429 9666 or email SAALLandscapeBoard@sa.gov.au.
OUTSIDE FENCE GROUND BAITING (2023)
The number of baits distributed to properties outside the Dog Fence for the past three years is shown in Graph 3. Properties outside the Dog Fence are not legally required to control dogs, unless that property lies within the 35km Buffer Zone. These properties are also restricted to one bait per 2km2. Injection services are offered in spring for landholders who request it due to high stock impacts. The increase in baiting requests for 2023 was reflective of an increase in reports of impacts to calves and livestock from wild dogs.
Planning is underway for an aerial baiting campaign to be delivered in mid-2024. This campaign will target areas of high wild dog activity reported during the 2023 calendar year.
AUTUMN 2024 BAIT INJECTION SERVICES
Tentative March dates have been set for the autumn 2024 inside fence injection services. Invites will be sent via email at least eight weeks before the service dates. If you do not receive an invitation before the start of March 2024, please contact the Biosecurity team.
- North East Pastoral: 4-7 March 2024
- North Flinders/Marree: 12-15 March 2024
- Kingoonya/Gawler Ranges: 19-22 March 2024
- Gawler Ranges: 25-26 March 2024
STATE WILD DOG POLICY
In September of this year an updated South Australian Wild Dog Management Strategy 2023–2033, was released.
The strategy aims to sustain and grow South Australian livestock industries by protecting them from the impacts of wild dogs, while maintaining dingo populations outside the dog fence. According to this document, the management aim for wild dogs south of the fence in SA is eradication.
You can view a copy of the strategy on the Biteback webpage.