Reducing impacts of wild canids on livestock production industries

Page last updated: Tuesday, 1 August 2017 - 12:24pm

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Reducing impacts of wild canids on livestock production industries research project is one of ten successful applications to receive funding from the Boosting Biosecurity Defences project's Research and Development (R&D) Fund.

The purpose of the R&D Fund is to provide funding for the development of innovative solutions to better manage declared or significant pests and diseases. This funding project is made possible by Royalties for Regions and led by the Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia (DAFWA).

Below is a summary of the project:

"Wild canids – wild dogs and foxes – are a huge problem for WA livestock producers, causing over $70m annually in livestock losses. Traditional baiting programs largely ignore the behaviour of these canids, and how this can reduce the efficacy of control initiatives. The time is now right to combine advances in technology with our understanding of the biology of canids to their control in a way that is effective, cost-efficient and robust.

The aim of our project is to provide financial benefit for WA livestock producers within 2.5 years, reducing wild canid predation of sheep and cattle through:

  • Identifying drivers for/barriers to participation in wild canid control
  • Developing novel canid control techniques that:
  • are effective where conventional methods do not work; and
  • reduce risk to working dogs
  • Improving target specificity and baiting effectiveness

We will work directly with landholders to identify tools and approaches that are most applicable to them. Our work is aimed specifically at addressing some identified issues that prevent landholders engaging with control: financial costs, risk to working dogs, movement of baits, alternative methods that could be applied during lambing/calving, and permeability in fencing that negates effectiveness. These issues will be addressed by focussing on increased target specificity and development of novel aversion approaches."

This project is managed by Murdoch University.

Contact information

Jenny Crisp
+61 (0)8 9368 3254