The Sheep and Goat Industry Funding Scheme has announced $77,000 to the Southern Biosecurity Group to monitor wild dog movements at targeted locations along the State Barrier Fence Esperance Extension.
The funding is provided as part of the Sheep and Goat Industry Funding Scheme’s Wild Dog Eradication Program.
More than $400,000 will be invested by the program over the next three years to help reduce the impact of wild dogs on the Western Australian sheep industry. This is in addition to almost $300,000 committed to projects in the previous financial year.
Sheep and Goat Industry Funding Scheme Management Committee chair and Coorow farmer Charles Wass said industry investment in projects and activities to address wild dogs was necessary.
“Wild dogs are one of the biggest threats to the Western Australian sheep and goat industry,” Mr Wass said.
“We, as an industry, need to contribute alongside the significant investments being made by regional communities and the State Government.”
The newly-funded project will set up cameras at monitoring sites to determine what animals are using the areas before, during and after construction of the Esperance Extension.
It will target three locations where there are gaps in the fence due to natural river crossings.
Technical advisor to the project, Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development research scientist Tracey Kreplins said the information would help assess the number of species moving along the fence and contribute to monitoring of the State Barrier Fence.
“It is important for landholders and the department to understand how gaps in the State Barrier Fence affect the movement of wild dogs into the agricultural region, which will inform control strategies for the sheep industry,” Dr Kreplins said.
The funding from the Sheep and Goat Industry Funding Scheme will enable the Southern Biosecurity Group to be involved in critical research.
The Southern Biosecurity Group Management Committee see it as an important opportunity to collect baseline data to help understand the impact the fence has on wild dog activity, which will not only benefit the region’s sheep producers but all southern sheep producers.
The Sheep and Goat Industry Funding Scheme began in 2010 to enable the Western Australian sheep and goat industry to fund activities addressing its priority biosecurity issues. At present, the scheme is funding work to address wild dogs and virulent footrot, with executive support provided by the department.
Jodie Thomson, DPIRD media liaison (08) 9368 3937