Agencies join forces to provide wild dog trapper

In response to the recent escalation of wild dog activity in the Gulmarrad area, North Coast Local Land Services has been working with local stakeholders to address this problem.

A coordinated response is being developed with Roads and Maritime Services, who now have a large holding in the area, and Clarence Valley Council to provide joint funding to employ a trapper.

Experienced local trapper, Bill Crisp from Tracs Wild Dog Management has been engaged to work in the area. Bill will work with his scent dog Bugs to locate recent wild dog activity and focus on trapping these areas. Mr Crisp began work on Wednesday morning and had two dogs trapped overnight. One wild dog was trapped near the site of Sunday's attack and the other about 2km to the east.

North Coast Local Land Services is also seeking the help of local residents and the surrounding farming country. A major part of effective wild dog control is to have effective community engagement and people actively engaged in wild dog control in a proactive way.

Dean Chamberlain, Team Leader Invasive Species said of the project, "We're asking residents and land owners to remain alert and report any wild dog activity to Tiffany Felton, biosecurity officer at our Grafton office and her phone number is 0427 458 591."

"We are conducting a public meeting at Gulmarrad Primary School at 5pm on Wednesday March 30, and we're inviting all land owners within the area to attend and get involved."

Interested residents who are going to attend are asked to advise North Coast Local Land Services by contacting Tiffany Felton on 0427 458 591.

The meeting will focus on the current wild dog problem, in order to gain a better understanding of it and then look at future management of wild dogs in the area to minimise impacts. The meeting will also discuss how local residents can monitor for wild dogs to measure the effectiveness of this program and also any wild dog activity that may occur in the future.

Dean said, "In general, most people think of impacts as being related to domestic livestock and pets but this is only part of the story.

"The area where control is proposed is also home to threatened and endangered wildlife such as coastal emus, bettongs and Brush-tailed Phascogales, all of which will benefit from a reduced wild dog population." Dean said.

North Coast Local Land Services can provide a Vertebrate Pest Training course to landholders in the area which will enable landholders to carry out proactive baiting programs in the future.

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