Teamwork key to beating wild dog problem

WORKING strategically and as a group is the best way to combat the wild dog problem in the Clarence Valley.

At a meeting at Coutts Crossing Tuesday night, Local Land Services biosecurity officer Michael Elliott said while wild dogs will always be in the environment, the aim is to reduce their numbers and lessen the impact they have on livestock, native animals and domestic pets.

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He said while baiting is the most effective control method, teamwork is essential.

"It's remarkable how effective landholders can be in controlling wild dogs if you can form a group, bait strategically at strategic times of the year," he said.

"There'll be times of the year where wild dogs are most active, and those are the times we like to focus on, because remember once a wild dog has identified your place and checked it out, you are playing catch-up."

The peak times for wild dog activity are March and April in mating season, June and July when litters are born, and during the later stages of the year, when wild pups have reached mobility and are beginning to hunt.

While baiting may not be suitable for all properties because of legislative restrictions, Mr Elliott said 1080 baiting was the most cost effective, easiest and broad scale control method.

"There is a public perception that 1080 doesn't work and kills everything, but that's wrong," he said.

"It's a poison that is naturally occurring in over 30 native plants across Australia, so native animals have a very high tolerance to it.

"The dosage used for wild dogs is very low, so it's very target specific."

Mr Elliott said wild dogs assess their risks and reward when they hunt, and scout properties to find weaknesses that maximise their reward.

"There are a lot of people who say they've never had wild dogs here before, and they don't know why it's happened, never seen them before and then they've been hit," he said.

For more information, contact North Coast Local Land Services on 6604 1100.



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