Wild Dog Control Programs Continue On Park Boundaries

Success As 55 Wild Dogs Trapped In Three Months

October 1, 1999 The Rural News

Wild dog control programs are continuing in boundary areas of Kosciuszko National Park in conjunction with Rural Lands Protection Boards and other park agencies.

A co-operative program of proactive control of wild dogs along the north-eastern boundary of Kosciuszko National park was particularly successful with 55 wild dogs taken in three months earlier this year. National Parks and Wildlife Service Tumut ranger, Dave Pearce said the program involved a contract with the Yass Rural Lands Protection Board, with funding provided by the NPWS and Environment ACT.

"National parks staff have an ongoing program of bait stations in the area, however this trapping program was in response to continuing dog activity on the Yaouk Valley and Shannons Flat areas and boundary areas of Kosciuszko and Namadgi national parks and the Scabby Range Nature Reserve," Mr Pearce said.

The program involved two trappers working with David Jenkins, coordinator of the South-East NSW/ACT Wild Dog Management Project.

"The wild dog project is aimed at developing more efficient and strategic methods of control and it also provides training for young vertebrate pest control officers who can learn from the older trappers," Mr Pearce said.

The two young trappers, Michael Davies and Scott Guthrie, worked in the valley full-time from March through to the end of May. During that period 55 wild dogs were taken. 51 pigs were shot, 34 foxes and six cats were trapped.

"Although this has been a good result in terms of significant reduction in the number of dogs and other feral species in those areas, the efforts need to he followed up, therefore this contract will be renewed for another 12 months."

Mr Pearce said that the trapping program was just one successful part of the much larger ACT/NSW Wild Dog Management Project coordinated by Dr Jenkins.

"One aspect of Dr Jenkins' program is research into the biology of wild dogs in Kosciuszko and Namadgi national parks. This involves a trapping and recapture program within the parks, which includes fitting dogs with a microchip and taking blood samples for DNA testing," Mr Pearce said.

"The information provided about the movements of dogs will be particularly valuable for our on-going management programs.

In the southern part of the park, the NPWS Jindabyne District has contracts for wild dog control work with the Cooma and Bombala Rural Lands Protection Boards.

"This has been integrated with a baiting program by NPWS staff," Jindabyne District manager Dave Darlington said. "In recent weeks a dog believed to be responsible for attacking sheep in the Paupong area was trapped. Last week a dog was trapped in the Paupong area and it is hoped this will lead to the trapping or baiting of another dog known to he with this animal at the time it was trapped. "In recent months a wild dog trapped in the Paupong area was shown to have died from 1080 baits it had consumed from a bait station in the area just before it was trapped."

"NPWS staff have also reported that baits have been taken from mounds recently in the Numbla Vale area."

Mr Darlington said that on the western side of the park, the NPWS and Hume Rural Lands Protection Board are maintaining a successful wild dog management program in the Khancohan area.