Invasive Animals CRC > Blog > Feral Flyer > Feral Flyer issue 212 – 3 May 2012


In this edition:

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Feral pigs in Australia videos

Pigs arrived in Australia with the First Fleet and today feral populations inhabit around 40% of Australia. Feral pigs cause agricultural damage through predation of newborn lambs, reduction in crop yields, damage to fences and water sources, and competition with stock for feed by consuming or damaging pasture. They also are considered a major threat to stock as a potential carrier of exotic diseases.

We have developed a series of videos that give a general introduction to the problem of feral pigs in Australia and discusses their impacts in marsh and rangeland country, particularly the Macquarie Marshes region of central NSW. They are available to watch on YouTube and have been popular.

PestSmart YouTube channel:

Feral Pigs in Australia Video playlist (YouTube)

86 years of photographic evidence of rangeland recovery from sheep and rabbit grazing

The longest photographic archive in Australia to record the recovery of a degraded rangeland (Koonamore – a sheep station in north-east South Australia) is now available online at:

The University of Adelaide started in 1926 researching the recovery of Koonamore, keeping a photographic record.  Digitisation of the Koonamore archives was an initiation of Dean Graetz (formerly CSIRO) and Russell Sinclair (University of Adelaide), with equipment assistance from the Pastoral Board of SA.

The Koonamore archive is valuable because it records the severe droughts of the 1930s, the arrival of Myxomatosis to combat rabbits in the 1950s and the 1973-74 extreme wet period.

For further information, please contact  Story reprinted with permission from ‘Across the Outback’ published by SA Arid Lands NRM Board ( April 2012.

SA dingo update – SA Arid Lands NRM Board.

South of the Dog Fence, the Board is delivering the landholder-initiated Biteback program for protecting the region’s sheep industry.  A survey is currently being compiled by the Board to evaluate Biteback, particularly in terms of whether local area planning has changed the way participating landholders will work with their neighbours in coordinating future pest control.

North of the Dog Fence, the Board in investigating the impacts dingoes have on beef cattle in baited and unbaited areas to determine optimum dingo management strategies.  North of the fence, dingoes are neither specifically protected or declared as a pest, but are regarded as a legitimate wildlife species with a valuable ecological role. They are only baited at times necessary to provide temporary protection to calves when alternative prey species for dingoes are low due to seasonal conditions.

The Dingo Research project north of the fence is investigating the relationship between dingoes, 1080 baiting, calf predation /lactation failure and biodiversity.  Participating stations will maintain 1080 baited and unbaited paddocks to identify the proportion of calf losses attributable to dingoes, the environmental factors associated with increased calf predation and the ability of baiting to protect against predation. Contact the Dingo Management Team on (08) 86485300 for further information.

Story reproduced with permission from ‘Across the Outback’ published by SA Arid Lands NRM Board ( April 2012.

Australian Dingo: Invasive Pest or Predator, Kill or Conserve?

Julianne L. D’Amico (Department of Environmental Science, Allegheny College, Meadville, Pennsylvania), the author of this paper had previously emailed the Invasive Animals CRC to obtain two recent dingo publications by our researchers.

Fleming, P., Allen, B., & Ballard, G. (2012). Seven consideration about dingoes as biodiversity engineers: the socioecological niches of dogs in Australia. Australian Mammalogy, 34(1): 119-131.

Allen, B. & Fleming, P. (2012) Reintroducing the dingo: The risk of dingo predation to threatened vertebrates of western New South Wales. Wildlife Research, 39(1): 35-50.

The paper also cited an Invasive Animals CRC publication:

Gong, W., Sinden, J., & Braysher, M. & Jones, R. (2009). The economic impacts of vertebrate pests in Australia. University of Canberra: Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre.

Feral Flyer readers may be interested to learn an American’s perspective on the Australian dingo.

Julianne writes that the Canis lupus dingo (pure dingo) has been plagued with debate since European arrival in Australia in 1788.  This debate, termed “dingo dualism”, questions the species’ status as either an invasive pest which terrorises introduced livestock or a native trophic predator responsible for keeping the population of invasive predator species at a minimum.

The species has been listed as vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation and Nature (IUCN) Red List of Endangered Species.  Regardless of the species’ status as either an invasive pest or a native predator, an effective management plan must be established in order to eradicate or conserve the dingo.

In the final chapter, Julianne develops a list of criteria to evaluate three Acts of Parliament: the Wild Dog Destruction Act of NSW (1921), the Territory Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act (TPWCA) of Northern TerritoryT (2000), and the Nature Conservation Act of Queensland (1992).

Although the answer proves elusive to the question: Which State Act is an effective answer to managing the Australian dingo?  The author’s extensive bibliography and Appendices provide a comprehensive reference on the Australian dingo.

You may wish to contact the author at for a copy of her full paper.

Tilapia in Australia – State of Knowledge Forum

The Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre and the Murray-Darling Basin Authority are pleased to announce a Forum on Tilapia in Australia to be held in Brisbane, Queensland, 15-16 May 2012.

Attendance at this workshop will be limited to 100 persons. Registrations can be made online:

The forum will focus on the present state of knowledge on Tilapia mariae (spotted tilapia or black mangrove cichlid) and Oreochromis mossambicus (Mozambique tilapia) in Australia and how this can be used to help manage the two species. Fisheries managers in particular are encouraged to attend.

Upcoming PestSmart Roadshow events

May and June brings Roadshow events in Townsville, Charleville and Bourke. We are also trying to lock in dates for Roadshow events in Tasmania and the Northern Territory. Watch this space or follow us on twitter or facebook for updates.

All events are free to attend but please see for more information about each event and to register.

Tuesday 15 MayTilapia in Australia ForumBrisbane
Tuedsay 5 JuneCharleville RoadshowCharleville RSL Club
Thursday 7 JuneBourke RoadshowDiggers on the Darling
Tuesday 19 JuneCarp Management in Australia ForumBell City Event Centre


Reminder: Invasive Animals PhD scholarships

A reminder that 19 PhD scholarships are being offered in innovative research projects covering ecology, virology, molecular biology, natural resource modelling, sociology, socio-economics and herbivore fertility control. The IA CRC links research with end‑users resulting in student research having a greater impact on the agricultural and environmental management sector.

Details of the IA CRC research projects, PhD scholarships and Balanced Researcher Program are available at

Applications for study commencing in 2013 close on 17 August 2012. Some projects can start mid-2012 but these applications would have to be in by early May. See website for details.

Further enquiries to Dr Tony Buckmaster

New PestSmart Publications

Russell DJ, Thuesen PA and Small FE (2010). Tilapia in Australia – Development of management strategies for the control and eradication of feral tilapia populations in Australia
This report presents a culmination of different research projects on two species of tilapia (Oreochromis mossambicus and Tilapia mariae) and provides recommendations for the future management and research of these pest fish. Feral  populations of O. mossambicus and T. mariae are now widely distributed in tropical northeastern Queensland, with O. mossambicus also occurring in southeastern Queensland and river systems of Western Australia.  Download the full report at:

Hutchison M, McLennan M, Chilcott K, Norris A and Stewart D (2012). Validating the age of carp from the northern Murray-Darling Basin
Being able to accurately age carp is important for modelling population dynamics and potential response to various control strategies. This study examined the use of oxytetracycline (OTC) and otolith (ear bone) sampling to determine the formation of bone growth rings and in turn estimate the age of carp populations in the northern Murray–Darling Basin (MDB). Download the full report at:

New Journal Publications

Brian D. Cooke (2012). Rabbits: manageable environmental pests or participants in new Australian ecosystems? Wildlife Research (Online Early) –

Benjamin L. Allen, Luke K.-P. Leung (2012). Assessing Predation Risk to Threatened Fauna from their Prevalence in Predator Scats: Dingoes and Rodents in Arid Australia. PLoS ONE 7(5): e36426 –

S. Campbell, S. Cook, L. Mortimer, G. Palmer, R. Sinclair and A. P. Woolnough (2012). To catch a starling: testing the effectiveness of different trap and lure types. Wildlife Research 39(3): 183-191 –

Linda van Bommel and Chris N. Johnson (2012). Good dog! Using livestock guardian dogs to protect livestock from predators in Australia’s extensive grazing systems. Wildlife Research 39(3): 220-229 –

Andrew J. Bengsen, John A. Butler and Pip Masters (2012). Applying home-range and landscape-use data to design effective feral-cat control programs. Wildlife Research 39(3): 258-265 –

Michael Bode, Karl E. C. Brennan, Keith Morris, Neil Burrows and Neville Hague (2012). Choosing cost-effective locations for conservation fences in the local landscape. Wildlife Research 39(3): 192-201 –

Media round-up

Wild dog attacks sheep near dog fence. A wild dog attacked and killed 20 sheep on a station near Broken Hill in Far West NSW at the weekend……SA Country Hour, ABC Rural

Army may be asked to help cull outback pests. A conservation group says it might be worth asking the Australian Defence Force (ADF) to help with feral animal control in Queensland’s outback……ABC Southern Queensland

Feral pests taking toll on outback animals. Scientists working in the Simpson Desert in far west Queensland say an explosion in feral animal numbers is threatening native mammals…..ABC Western Queensland

Farmers take stand against dogs.Prime 7 video clip…Prime 7

Wild dog coordinator appointed to western Queensland. A coordinator has been appointed to help Queensland graziers north of the wild dog fence control the pest animal…..ABC Rural

Stop wild dogs or face the consequences: farmers. FARMERS in the Goodlands region north of Kalannie warn that if more isn’t done to solve wild dog problems in the area, the consequences could be dire….Farm Weekly

Call to bring back 1080 poison to combat wild dog packs. The head of a national strategy to contain wild dogs says packs of the canines are threatening koalas…. ABC News, AM Program

Victoria gives nod to ground-baiting. VICTORIA will push ahead with 1080 ground trials to control wild dogs as the Federal Government continues to block aerial baiting….Weekly Times

Poison restrictions hamper wild dog battle. The man charged with controlling the spread of wild dogs in Australia says restrictions on the use of a key poison are hampering the fight against growing numbers….ABC North and West SA

Minister plans strategy to halt epidemic. THE State government is working on a new Draft Wild Dog Management Strategy, which it hopes will halt the wild dog epidemic….The Land

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Upcoming conferences


  • Collaborate | Innovate | 2012 National Wine Centre in Adelaide from 15-17 May
  • Tilapia in Australia – State of Knowledge Forum. Brisbane 15-16 May
  • Carp Management in Australia Forum. Melbourne 19-21 June
  • 4th International Wildlife Management Congress. Durban, South Africa. 9-12 July
  • World Conference on Natural Resource Modeling. Brisbane 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.