Invasive Animals CRC > Blog > Feral Flyer > Feral Flyer issue 209 – 22 March 2012

Welcome to issue 209 of Feral Flyer.

In this edition:


First meeting of extension Invasive Animals CRC Participants

The Participants of the new extension Invasive Animals CRC (IA CRC) have met to progress the legal and commercial documentation to ensure the new IA CRC hits the road with a five-year research program “ready to accelerate from the starting blocks”, with no time to waste from 1 July 2012 through to 2017.

Chaired by Jim Thompson, Chief Biosecurity Officer with Biosecurity Queensland, the meeting of Participants heard that each successive IA CRC built on the achievements of the CRC before and that the new IA CRC had a solid foundation.

Jim Thompson (Chief Biosecurity Officer with Biosecurity Queensland) & Helen Cathles (IA CRC Chair)

Helen Cathles, Chair of the Invasive Animals CRC, said that the IA CRC consisted of a well-integrated team and welcomed the new Participants aboard. Helen described the IA CRC as a “PestSmart Powerhouse” and the best of the current CRC was being brought forward into the new extension CRC.

“The doors of the IA CRC are always open to participants for ongoing conversations,” Helen said. “Our Centre is end-user driven and focused on developing new technologies which has proven a magnet for international collaboration with Participants from New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States”.

Andreas Glanznig – IA CRC CEO said that the business case for the new CRC was a strong one. In addition to our commercial program, there is a strong public good component to our future research program and community engagement is a critically-important new research platform for the extension IA CRC.”

Some of the highlights discussed by Participants included:

* end-users involved in regular research reviews to ensure research “hits the mark”

* the IA CRC’s role to build community leadership capacity

* more than 30 research projects ready to start from 1 July 2012

* more than 15 PhDs under the Balance Researcher extended four-year initiative, embedded in the research program to build research capacity

* enhanced role of Participants as members of the Research Program Advisory Panel to add strategic input to the research mix of the IA CRC

* integrated strategic and operational plans (with milestones articulated from project plans) for the new IA CRC, underpinned by a Strategic Evaluation & reporting framework

* whole-of-CRC research reviews scheduled for 2015 and 2017

* the re-insertion of a Commercialisation and Utilisation plan in the Participants Agreement

* better use of the Participants Committee role to act as an advisory committee to the Governing Board of the IA CRC.

Questions from the floor in a “balanced” approach to discussing the new extension IA CRC.

One of the Participants at the meeting, Mr Cameron Begley – General Manager, Business Development and Commercialisation at CSIRO, said that all Participants had demonstrated a “balanced” approach to discussing all of the issues involved in establishing the new extension IA CRC.

In closing the Participants Committee Meeting, Helen Cathles asked Participants to picture why the IA CRC matters. “Imagine a paddock today in 2012 impacted by invasive animals. Then imagine that paddock in 2017 if nothing is done to improve control measures against invasive animals. That is why the new IA CRC matters.”

Participants were then invited to come back to Canberra on 15 October 2012 for the celebration of the IA CRC just finished plus the official launch of the new extension IA CRC, which would be followed by the next Participants Committee meeting and the AGM on 16 October 2012.

Some of our Participants

Linton Staples (Animal Control Technologies Pty Ltd)  and Annabelle Duncan (University of New England)
Phil Cassey (University of Adelaide) and Andrea Byrom (Landcare Research New Zealand)

Pest management training being developed

Mike Braysher from the Invasive Animals CRC said that the recent boost to technical training announced by the Prime Minister may assist in providing resources for upskilling pest animal managers.

The Prime Minister has announced an additional $7.2 billion in funding for the vocational education and training (VET) sector over the next five years to upskill Australians and ensure ‘jobs for the future’.

The National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) welcomed the Prime Minister’s announcement which NFF President Jock Laurie said comes at a time when the agricultural sector is facing a serious skills and labour shortage.

Mike Braysher said that the lack of suitably qualified pest managers is now the most serious impediment to effectively reducing the hundreds of millions in damage caused by pests.

“Before the 21st century, most pest animal management was focused on the biology of pests and how best to kill them, and if possible eradicate them,” he said. “The focus now is on the outcome, reducing damage caused by pests”.

In 2007, this approach was endorsed in the Australian Pest Animal Strategy. Up until now, there has been little attention to incorporating this approach in pest animal Vocational Education and Training courses, said Mike.

To help address this deficiency, the Invasive Animals CRC in cooperation with Agrifood Skills Australia, Vertebrate Pests Committee and NSW DPI are cooperating to review current pest management competencies and develop revised training packages based on the Australian Pest Animal Strategy.

Mike said that once developed, the challenge will be to train pest managers under the new training packages.

For further information, please contact Mike on (02) 62608112 or

Nominations open for the Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science

Do you know early/mid-career scientists who merit national recognition?

Please help identify potential candidates for the 2012 Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science.  Each prize has a significant personal cash component.  The closing date is 27 April.

The main prize – the Prime Minister’s Prize for Science – is worth $300,000.

There are also two awards for early- to mid-career scientists, both worth $50,000:

  • Malcolm McIntosh Prize for Physical Scientist of the Year
  • Science Minister’s Prize for Life Scientist of the Year.

Nomination forms and more details at: the PM’s Prizes website.

Detection and Prevention loses Wendy Henderson

Dr Wendy Henderson will be leaving the IA CRC on March 22 after almost six years as Program Coordinator and Project Leader for the Detection & Prevention Program.

She will be working at ACIAR (Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research). Wendy wishes everyone all the best with finalising their current projects with the IA CRC, and/or on their new ventures with the IA CRC’s extension.

The IA CRC will miss a very valuable member and we all wish her the very best for the future.

Pest Animals Twitter on #Agchatoz

Keryn Lapidge (@PestSmartCRC) and Glenn Conroy (@Glennconroy1) from the Invasive Animals CRC recently participated in a late night AgChatOZ Twitter discussion on pest animals.

AgChatOZ is on every Tuesday night from 8pm and anyone interested in Australian Agriculture is welcome to join in.

Tony Peacock (@crcassoc) from the CRC Association said that Agchatoz Cofounders, Sam Livingstone, Danica Leys and Tom Whitty are having a big impact on the public conversations that are taking place on the wide range of issues facing agriculture in Australia. Danica recently won the NSW Rural Women’s Award.

Glenn Conroy said that using Twitter is an addictive process that was most useful in keeping your finger on the “pulse” of people interested in common issues, in this case the control of invasive animals.

There were 89 participants with 682 tweets about pest animals/weeds/diseases during #AgChatOZ.

They were in regions including East Gippsland, the Mallee and the Wimmera in Victoria, Geraldton and the Kimberley in WA, Katherine in the NT, Adelaide, rural NSW including the Hunter Valley, Bathurst, Armidale, Yass and the Liverpool Plains, far North Queensland, Burdekin in central Queensland and Longreach in western Queensland, people waiting at airports and all points north, south, east and west.

In a wide-ranging discussion over two hours, some of the topics raised included:

* feral pig control using HogHopper™ baiting station and the toxins available now and in the future. Baiting stations and specialised bait matrix/formulations together help ensure risk to native animals is minimised.

* Sodium nitrite pig bait HOGGONE® to be submitted for registration to APVMA

*wild dogs and foxes (mentioning the free wild dog trapping DVD available from Invasive Animals CRC)

* rabbits (lots of them), feral goats and donkeys

* pest animals not recognising property boundaries and council coordination of neighbouring baiting programs

* pest animals in national parks and difficulty with pest management is it requires private & public land holders to cooperate which means layers of government “difficult”

* dingoes controlling foxes (and evidence to the contrary from the Invasive Animals CRC)

* guardian animals (not only dogs) to protect livestock (with reference to Best Practice Manual for the use of Livestock Guardian Dogs available through the Invasive Animals CRC)

* using grazing for woody weeds and lead for rabbits

* kangaroo and wallaby control, with reference to GonaCon® research vaccination on the fertility of macropods

* licensed sporting shooter control of pest animals

* PestSmart Roadshows completed and coming up (Bairnsdale in East Gippsland, Victoria on 17 April)

* references to information available from the PestSmart website and also the email for Invasive Animals CRC

* even farmers offering to help in research field trails

* a lot of subjects in between like invasive weeds, bees, wombats and eating kangaroos.

People can follow us on Twitter at #PestSmartCRC, #Glennconroy1, #crcassoc and #Agchatoz. For further information about Agchatoz, email Sam Livingstone and Tom Whitty at email

Imagine if you could get 10,000 people to help you with your research!

ABC Science Online is looking for innovative scientists to be partners in three online citizen science projects.  If you have a research idea that could benefit from accessing thousands of people, then the ABC would love to hear from you.

It is looking for a scientific research project that will:

  • appeal to lots of people
  • involve an experiment/ survey/ test that can be done online.
  • be open to people living all across Australia, regardless of location
  • be a valid scientific research project, associated with an Australian university or research organisation, with the aim to publish some results in a peer-reviewed journal or equivalent.

ABC Science will:

  • develop and run the online platform for the research project
  • promote the project.

You will be responsible for:

  • the science behind the research project
  • analysing the data collected
  • assisting in promoting the project (doing media interviews).

The period that the project is open for data collection will be from three weeks to two months, but will always include National Science Week in August 2012.  ABC Science will run one citizen science project each year for 2012, 2013 and 2014.

Please email ABC Science at to register your interest, covering the following details:

  • your name, position and institution
  • your experience and areas of scientific interest
  • your proposed project – a brief synopsis of the idea including why this research is interesting and /or important; the questions it hopes to answer and how you imagine the ‘citizen scientists’ might be involved in providing data for your research.

For further information, contact Kylie Andrews, Producer at ABC Science Online, on or phone 02 8333 2473 – Monday to Wednesday only.

Women in Science Fellowships open 1 April

This year L’Oréal is making some changes to its ‘For Women in Science’ Fellowships.

Nominations are now open to women researchers from New Zealand and the prize value has been increased to $25,000.

Nominations will open on Sunday 1 April and run until Tuesday 1 May.

The L’Oréal Fellowships are awarded to three female scientists with no more than five years of post-doctoral experience to assist their research at an Australian or New Zealand academic or research institution.

The Fellowships are worth up to AUD$25,000 over 12 months.

For more information, and for application forms (when they become available in April), please visit the L’Oréal ‘For Women in Science’ website.

PestSmart Roadshow Dates

RoadShow Dates



Tuesday 17thBairnsdale, VicBairnsdale RSL


Tuesday 1stTownsville, QldTownsville RSL
Thursday-Saturday 3-5 MayCarrick, TasmaniaAgfest Field Days


Tuesday 5thCharleville, QldCharleville Memorial RSL Club
Thursday 7thBourkeDigger on the Darling (old Oxley RSL)
Remember to register

Register for any of these events by logging onto:

New Publications

DJ Russell,  PA Thuesen and FE Thomson (2012). A review of the biology, distribution and control of Mozambique tilapia, Oreochromis mossambicus (Peters 1852) (Pisces: Cichlidae) with particular emphasis on feral Australia populations. Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries. Online First™, 17 January 2012  DOI: 10.1007/s11160-011-9249-z

PestSmart Publications

Media round-up

Giddings backs fox force.  PREMIER Lara Giddings says she has faith in expert advice that foxes are living in Tasmania…The Mercury

The Tasmanian Fox Eradication Program says it has new evidence of foxes in the north west of the state. It says testing by the University of Canberra has found fox DNA in scats found near Railton and Burnie last year…ABC News

Scats on Coast test positive for fox DNA. FOX scats collected from Burnie and Railton last year have been positively identified by the University of Canberra’s Institute for Applied Ecology as containing fox DNA…The Advocate

Cats added to fox force list. THE State Government, the Opposition and the Greens have each taken credit for the idea of combining the Fox Taskforce into a new agency that will take on invasive animals and weeds…The Mercury

Controlling rabbits: let’s not get addicted to viral solutions. Brian Cooke manages and advises on rabbit control research and is financially supported in a part-time capacity by the Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre, University of Canberra… The Conversation

Biological warfare declared on rabbits. A NEW biological attack on Australia’s exploding rabbit population could begin by 2015…Weekly Times Now

Council issues warning amid wild dog attacks. Dog owners are being urged to keep control of their animals after a spate of recent wild dog attacks across Townsville in north Queensland…ABC North Queensland

Victorian wild dog aerial baiting delayed. A stalemate between the Victorian and Federal Governments has put a plan to aerial bait for wild dogs in Victoria on hold…ABC Rural

Have your say on wildlife corridors. THE National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) is calling on farmers and rural landholders to contribute to the consultation phase of the Draft National Wildlife Corridors Plan…Farm Weekly

Inaugural Northern Territory Ranger Awards. Minister for Parks and Wildlife, Karl Hampton, said the Northern Territory Ranger Awards program is a first for the Territory, and a great opportunity to acknowledge the amazing work our Rangers do…Northern Territory Government

Sheep still dogged by ferals.WYANDRA grazier Peter Lucas is passionate about keeping wild dogs under control. He has seen the destruction…Queensland Country Life


Upcoming conferences


  • Collaborate | Innovate | 2012 National Wine Centre in Adelaide from 15-17 May
  • 4th International Wildlife Management Congress. Durban, South Africa. 9-12 July
  • Invertebrates associated with invasive alien organisms. Riga (Latvia) 16–18 August
  • Invasive organisms and globalisation. Riga (Latvia) 20-23 August
  • 3rd European Congress of Conservation Biology. Glasgow, Scotland. 28 Aug-1 Sept
  • Fertility Control Conference. Jackson Wyoming, USA. 29 Aug-1 Sept

For more information on these and other events, please see details on our website.