Invasive Animals CRC > Blog > Feral Flyer > Feral Flyer issue 215 – 20 June 2012


In this edition:

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New era for the Invasive Animals CRC

June 30 marks the end of the current Invasive Animals CRC funding term. Feral Flyer readers will know that we were successful in securing a five-year extension to take us to 2017, however this is under a new Commonwealth Agreement and in many ways is a new CRC. IA CRC Chair Helen Cathles, Deputy Chair Dedee Woodside, and CEO Andreas Glanznig (pictured right) signed the new Commonwealth Agreement at a final staff dinner for the current CRC in Canberra last week and the Agreement was executed with the Australian Government on Monday.

Due to the finalisation of many projects, the end of the current CRC also sees the closure of the Adelaide office and the departure of several valued staff members over the next few months including:

  • Kate Lawrence (Canberra administration assistant)
  • Susan Duson (Business Manager)
  • Wayne Fulton (Freshwater Program Leader)
  • Kylie Hall (Freshwater Program coordinator)
  • Elaine Murphy (Detection and Prevention Program Leader)
  • Stephen Sarre (Education Program Leader)
  • Sascha Rettke (Uptake Program Coordinator)
  • Kathleen Steed (Adelaide office manager)

All these people have been key members of the Invasive Animals CRC team. We will miss working with them all and wish them great success in their future endeavours.

PestSmart Roadshows come to a close

A big crowd in attendance at the Bairnsdale Roadshow

After five months and twenty events across all states and territories of Australia, the PestSmart Roadshow has finally come to a close. Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and three extra shows (Alice Springs and Katherine in the Northern Territory and Campbell Town in Tasmania) were added to the original program.

We sincerely thank everyone who attended any of the Roadshows and trust you found them worthwhile. We hope to upload presentations from the roadshows to the website in the future. A reminder that all the publications distributed at the Roadshows, plus new ones published more recently, can already be found online.

The roadshows were made possible by the invaluable support of Invasive Animals CRC partners Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA), Australian Wool Innovation (AWI), the Murray-Darling Basin Authority (MDBA) and Animal Control Technologies (ACTA). We thank all these organisations for their assistance in this project. Special mention also to Ian Ware and the team from Australian Public Address for the sterling  effort (and many, many kilometers) put in to ensure our audiovisual needs were met.

Thanks also to all the presenters that attended the roadshows, some of you getting along to several dates involving a lot of time on the road. Suzy Balogh put in a superhuman effort to be our MC and ‘Hostess with the Mostest’ at all 20 Roadshows! Unbelievably, she also managed to qualify for the London Olympics during this time and is now in a training camp in Europe. Suzy will be competing in the trap shooting event in which she won the gold medal at the Athens Olympics. I’m sure all Feral Flyer readers wish Suzy all the best for the games!

Emily King (AWI) and Blair Brice (MLA) at the Armidale RoadshowSpeakers (L to R): Suzy Balogh, Brian Cooke, Peter Fleming, Jess Marsh, Chris Lane, Greg Mifsud, Steve Lapidge

New RIRDC pest and weeds risk assessment introduced

The Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation has launched a new assessment framework that will play an important role in helping prevent the introduction and spread of new pests and weeds in Australia. The assessment process will be used in all of RIRDC’s research projects that include prospective production plants and animals.The RIRDC publication ‘An invasive risk assessment framework for new animal and plant-based production industries’ can be downloaded from:

Camera trapping for wildlife surveys

The Australasian Wildlife Management Society in collaboration with the Invasive Animals CRC and partners are hosting a Camera Trapping in Wildlife Management and Research Colloquium at the ANZ Lecture Theatre, Taronga Zoo in Sydney, 13-14 September 2012.

To help us with developing the program and organising the Colloquium, please register your interest. The techniques are primarily for ecologists and conservation managers, but there is also much opportunity for anyone and everyone working in basic wildlife ecology, natural history and conservation.

For further details, visit:

New Queensland officers to fight ticks, weeds and wild dogs

THE Queensland Government has announced 15 new officers will start working to help producers in their fight against ticks, weeds and feral pests, particularly wild dogs, which Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) John McVeigh says is part of a promise to revitalise frontline services in the stand-alone Department.

The Queensland Farmers Federation welcomed this commitment, while also noting that all government departments, including DAFF, are in a phase of considerable cost-cutting. QFF said that it would be watching closely to ensure that this does not impact upon services on offer to other aspects of primary industry and that DAFF remains fully resourced and equipped to tackle challenges facing the industry, beyond the headline announcements of new Biosecurity Officers.

Invasive Animals CRC PhD scholarships

Imagine working on your doctorate in the stimulating and supportive intellectual environment of a leading Australian university with four years’ funding support, compared to the usual three years.

Your PhD research will work with cutting-edge technology and achieve practical solutions to a real $1 billion research problem. Invasive animals damage the Australian environment and reduce agricultural productivity.

Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre (IA CRC) PhD scholarships are the only Australian PhD scholarship that offer a total of four years funding as well as additional specialised training that provides successful PhDs with a marketing advantage over others in the marketplace.

19 PhDs are currently available in innovative research projects covering ecology, virology, molecular biology, natural resource modelling, sociology, socio-economics and herbivore fertility control.

Applications for study commencing in 2013 close on 17 August 2012.

More info:

New PestSmart information now online

Factsheets and case studies

RHD Boost – Enhancing RHDV effectiveness:
Fact sheet covering current research to boost the effectiveness of RHDV as a biological control for rabbits in Australia.

Warren and harbour destruction for rabbit control: Factsheet on the the use of warren ripping in rabbit control.

Poison baiting for rabbit control: Fact sheet covering the use of poison baiting for controlling rabbits in Australia.

Case study – Foxes on Phillip Island: Case study on the current attempt to eradicate foxes from Phillip Island off the Victorian coast.

Case Study – Declaring the fox a pest in NSW: Case study on the usefulness of legislative powers to improve fox management.

Fencing for fox control:  Factsheet on the use of fencing for fox control.

Advances in the molecular ecology of foxes:  Fact sheet covering the use of DNA analysis for investigating and monitoring fox populations and behaviour in Australia.

Foxes in Tasmania:  Fact sheet covering evidence collection and analysis and the fox eradication program in Tasmania.

Technical reports

A manual for carp control -The Tasmanian model: describes the progressive and integrated approaches that were employed to control/eradicate carp in Tasmania and that are likely to be of relevance elsewhere.


Warren ripping for rabbit control: Lisa Thomas discusses and demonstrates warren ripping using a single tyne ripper for rabbit control.

PIGOUT® baits for feral pig control: Steve Lapidge discusses and demonstrates the use of the PIGOUT® 1080 bait for feral pig control.

Use of the HogHopper® for baiting of feral pigs: Jason Wishart discusses and demonstrates the use of the HogHopper® bait delivery device for feral pig control. Aspects such as assembly, site selection, pre-feeding and toxic baiting are covered.

New tools for feral pig control: HOG-GONE® and sodium nitrite: Steve Lapidge discusses the development of the HOG-GONE® bait and sodium nitirite concentrate as a new toxin for feral pig control.

Trapping for feral pig control: Jason Neville and Paul Meek discuss and demonstrate the use of both a silo mesh or heat-shaped trap and the panel trap for catching feral pigs.

Development of new toxins for wild dog and fox control: Simon Humphrys discusses new toxins being developed for wild dog and fox control.

Fresh Science nominations extended

Fresh Science is a communication boot camp for researchers no more than five years out from their PhD. It creates a cadre of media and public-friendly scientists and generates hundreds of media stories about Australian science.

We’re looking for:

  •  early-career researchers (from honours students up to five years post-PhD);
  •  with a peer-reviewed discovery which has had no media coverage;
  •  and some ability to present ideas in everyday English.

Applications for Fresh Science have been extended and now close at 5pm next Friday 29 June.

There are more details and information about past winners at

Hunt on for nation’s best ideas

The search is on for the nation’s greatest ideas – in fields from environmental science to education – through the $70,000 The Australian Innovation Challenge awards. The awards are run by The Australian newspaper in association with Shell with the support of the Australian Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education.

Minister for Industry and Innovation Greg Combet said innovation is about enabling discovery and new ways of delivering high-quality goods and services. The goal is to help drive game-changing breakthroughs by scientists, engineers, technologists, educators and backyard inventors to commercialisation or adoption.

One of the finalists last year was the HogHopper™ from the Invasive Animals CRC. Clive Mathieson, editor of The Australian, said last year’s inaugural challenge attracted more than 300 entries.  “The calibre of entries submitted in 2011 was astounding,” he said. “We’re keen to see what ideas we’ll uncover this time round.” Dr Terry Cutler, CSIRO deputy chairman and leader of the federal government’s 2008 review of the national innovation system, will head the judging panel again this year.

The awards, which are open to both individuals and teams, have seven professional categories, each carrying a prize of $5,000. The overall winner of the professional categories will receive a further $25,000. An eighth category, Backyard Innovation, is open to the general public and has a $10,000 prize. The categories are:

  • minerals and energy
  • environment, agriculture and food
  • education
  • health
  • ICT
  • manufacturing and hi-tech design
  • community services
  • backyard innovation.

More info & the enter: Entries close 12 August 2012.

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species update released

The source of our food, medicines and clean water, as well the livelihoods of millions of people may be at risk with the rapid decline of the world’s animal, plant and fungi species. The latest update of the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™, released on Tuesday on the eve of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, shows that of the 63,837 species assessed, 19,817 are threatened with extinction, including 41% of amphibians, 33% of reef building corals, 25% of mammals, 13% of birds, and 30% of conifers. The IUCN Red List is a critical indicator of the health of the world’s biodiversity.

Invasive alien species are one of the leading and most rapidly growing threats to food security, human and animal health and biodiversity. A recent analysis of IUCN Red List data highlighted invasive alien species as the fifth most severe threat to amphibians, and the third most severe threat to birds and mammals. Together with climate change, they have become one of the most difficult threats to reverse. Solutions incorporating awareness and prevention measures, as well as early warning and rapid response systems that include containment, control and eradication programmes, need to be implemented on both a regional and global scale in order to reduce the negative effects of alien species.

More info: IUCN media release: Securing the web of life. See also Threat to the Amazon’s birds is greater than ever

Australian Mammal Society Conference

Online registration is now open for the 58th Scientific Meeting of the Australian Mammal Society in Port Augusta, SA, September 23-27. Abstracts for both spoken papers and posters must be submitted with registration payment by 1 August 2012.

Meeting highlights will include:

  • Marine Mammal Symposium
  • Reintroduction Biology Symposium
  • Upper Spencer Gulf marine tour
  • 3-day post-conference tour including “Bounceback” in the Flinders Ranges and “Arid Recovery” near Roxby Downs (mammal highlights: yellow-footed rock wallabies, bilbies, western barred bandicoots, burrowing bettongs, sticknest rats, spinifex hopping mice; also plenty to see for the bird watchers and the herpetologists).

More info:

New Publications

Papers and articles
Ed Yong (2012). To control cannibal toads, you just need the right bait. Not Exactly Rocket Science blog, Discover Magazine.

Sarah Zielinski (2012). Profile: Rick Shine. The Reluctant Toad Killer. Science  15 June 2012: 1375-1377

Lee Allen, Mark Goullet and Russell Palmer (2012). The diet of the dingo (Canis lupus dingo and hybrids) in north-eastern Australia: a supplement to the paper of Brook and Kutt (2011) The Rangeland Journal  34(2) 211-217

Steven J. Lapidge and Adam J. Munn (2012). Seasonal field metabolic rate and water influx of captive-bred reintroduced yellow-footed rock-wallabies (Petrogale xanthopus celeris) Australian Journal of Zoology 59(6) 400-406

Mary-Lou Considine (2012). Macquarie Island is back in bloom ECOS Magazine May 2012

Media round-up

Ask and you shall receive – smart consultation leads to better science. Worldwide, and especially in Australia, much valuable science is being wasted or stalled through what is known as technology rejection – the public’s hostile reception of new technologies or scientific advice…….. The Conversation  Read full story

Wild dogs. The IA CRC creates new technologies and integrated strategies to reduce the impact of invasive animals on Australia’s economy, environment, and people……. Weekly Times  Read full story

Hunting is back. Interview with Dr Carla Meurk on some of the social attitudes towards firearms and hunting……… 702 ABC Sydney  Listen to full story

The critical role in wild dog control. NSW Department of Primary Industries (NSW DPI) and NSW Farmers Association have joined forces in the fight against wild dogs and are calling on the state’s landholders to report any wild dog activity or livestock losses……..The Rural  Read full story

Fence ready to change ‘Hillalong’ fortunes. IT has cost $230,000 and taken two years, but Bill Chandler (pictured) has this week completed 34km of fencing to keep the wild dogs out…….Queensland Country Life  Read full story

Tips to put bite on wild dogs. Producer groups and local authorities should be planning community baiting programs against wild dogs and foxes now ahead of the spring calving, lambing and kidding season……Beef Central  Read full story

NSW farmers told to report wild dog activity. NSW Department of Primary Industries (NSW DPI) and NSW Farmers’ Association have joined forces in the fight against wild dogs and are calling on the State’s landholders to report any wild dog activity or livestock losses…….The Land  Read full story

Return to sheep?. A Muswellbrook beef cattle farmer believes wool growing will return to the area if wild dogs are brought under control once and for all……Hunter Valley News  Read full story

Wild dog numbers `could explode’. CHILDREN have been threatened in their own backyards by wild dogs and adults have had to fight off a pack that surrounded them in Tasmania’s North-West.. …. The Examiner  Read full story

Wild dog battle unites stakeholders. ONE of the greatest threats facing the sheep industry is being addressed through effective collaboration between miners, sheep producers and natural resource managers…..The Land  Read full story

Outfoxing predators at Goonoo. A RECENTLY killed lamb lay on the verandah outside the meeting room of the Goonoo Fox Baiting Group, an example of the damage the feral animal can cause to sheep flocks……. The Land  Read full story

Wild dog trapped after 230 sheep kills. A WILD dog credited with 230 known sheep kills has been trapped on a property east of Moree…… Cowra Community News  Read full story

Ensay’s wild dog fighters. THE picturesque Gippsland high country region of Ensay used to have a thriving sheep industry…….. Weekly Times  Read full story

PestSmart social media

Remember to follow PestSmart on social media. It’s a great way to keep up to date with what’s happening at the Invasive Animals CRC and with the latest additions to the toolkit as they become available. Share with your own followers and help spread the word on best practice invasive animal management.

google PestSmart website:
facebook PestSmart on facebook:
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Upcoming conferences


  • 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
  • Australian Wildlife Rehabilitation Conference. Townsville 17-20 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
  • 58th Scientific Meeting of the Australian Mammal Society. Port Augusta, South Australia. 23-27 Sept

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