Ten years of wild dog control

News article |

A strategy to manage wild dogs in the SA Arid Lands region over the past decade has seen a coordinated effort to implement control methods by land managers.Central to the strategy, the Biteback program is a flagship project of the SA Arid Lands NRM Board and is supported by the Sheep Industry Fund.

Posted 05 November 2019.

Among the most significant successes of the program has been the commitment by landholders in controlling wild dogs south of the dog fence, in partnership with the Board, industry, Primary Industries and Regions SA and Commonwealth Government, which has reduced the impacts by wild dogs on the livestock industry.

Engagement and coordination of land managers has been key part of the program. This has led to an increase in landholder engagement from 59 per cent in 2009 to 82 per cent in 2018.

The Biteback program has also delivered an Australian first with the development of the ‘Best Practice Guidelines for Wild Dog Control’. The Guidelines provide a benchmark for landholders and the Board to assess the level of management undertaken by individual properties.

Spring and autumn bait injection services for land managers has been offered over the life of the program, which is complemented by an annual aerial baiting program.

Delivery of extension activities such as trapping workshops which have provided a direct improvement and adoption of those skills by landholders and support the recommended integrated approach.

In marking its tenth year, all the programs achievements are recorded in The Biteback Program 10 Year Report 2009-2018. Team Leader Landscape Operations and Projects Greg Patrick said the Biteback program would continue to manage wild dogs in the SA Arid Lands region for years to come.

“The Biteback program will remain as relevant with the replacement of the South Australian Dog fence,” he said.

“While the fence will greatly reduce the movement of dogs from north to south of the fence, wild dog numbers inside the fence will need to continue to be controlled to reduce numbers further.

“We’re proud of what we’ve been able to achieve and look forward to continuing our work with landholders to reach a level of control possible under the Best Practice Guidelines.”

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