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Project:

October 7, 2016 gumption

Feral Pig Control in South West WA

Feral pigs (Susscrofa) cause significant environmental damage by destroying native vegetation, spreading dieback and polluting water sources. They also harm agricultural lands by degradingsoils, predating on lambs and spreading disease.

Feral Pig Control in South West WA has been running since 2013 to combat these impacts. The aim of this State NRM Office funded project is to establish and maintain a coordinated and collaborative management program for the control of feral pigs in the South West NRM Region.

The project activities include on-ground works, management planning, training, establishment of community groups to manage feral pigs, and trials in monitoring and trapping techniques. The work undertaken in 2015/16 builds upon the previous achievements and facilitated value adding.

Since 2013 the project has provided a coordinated management program for the control of feral pigs (mixed tenure) through a regionally-focused package of actions addressing priority feral pigs threatening biodiversity and primary production across the south west.

It built on current successful community feral pig control programs in the Lake Muir to Denbarker, Nannup, Northcliffe, Boddington, and Hotham valley areas and Department of Parks and Wildlife activities in areas of high conservation significance. This project provided additional resources to groups on a needs basis.

Four new Vertebrate Pest Control groups (Preston, Lower Blackwood, Middle Blackwood and Donnelly) wishing to become involved were supported and encouraged in accordance with known expertise so that a cross boundary coordinated control approach was achieved. Furthermore, training was provided to groups to assist them in meeting accreditation standards.

Overall, the project supported the development of a robust, systematic approach to feral pig management across the forest and greater South West, using baiting and trapping techniques. The program saw a total of 1,187 animals destroyed across the region and built up local skills for the continued ethical control of feral pigs.

The total project achievements since 2013 were:

  • Abundance of pigs present – 2,214,012ha (area covered)
  • Data collected monitoring – 729 days (Trapping), 1,187 (Number dispatched), 2,214,012ha (area treated)
  • Pigs removed and trapping day report – 16 (number)
  • Agreements signed – 6 (number)
  • Strategic Plans – 1 (number)
  • Events – 3(number of events), 49 (number of attendees)
  • Training/education – 21 (number of participants)

A key additional outcome of the project was the development of “The Feral Pig Control Strategy SouthWest Western Australia 2015-2020”, which includes a review of current management practices and identifies future strategic directions, priorities, desired outcomes and measures for success for feral pig management in the South West Region.

“A pig captured north of Denmark by DPaW was found to have 23 undigested frogs in its stomach. ”
(Source; What is that Feral Pig up to?, DPaW Brochure)

FUTURE DIRECTIONS

The project is now complete, as at June 30, 2016. SWCC will continue to support other pig control efforts across the Region.

(NOT SO) FUN FACT

Adult pigs will eat up to 15% of their body weight daily.

FUNDING RECIPIENTS

  • Warren Catchments Council
COMMITMENT
470 pigs dispatched
39%
ACHIEVEMENT
1,187 pigs dispatched
100%

COMMITMENT
12 participants in training/education
57%
ACHIEVEMENT
21 participants in training/education
100%

Project Manager

Wendy Wilkins

Key Partners

  • Northcliffe Declared Species Group
  • Donnelly Vertebrate Pest Management Group
  • Lower Blackwood Vertebrate Pest Management Group