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Cameras roll on feral pest attack at Inverell

The cameras are rolling on a unique feral pest campaign taking place south west of Inverell.

Last year the South West Inverell Landcare Group was allocated almost $20,000 for an integrated pest control project targeting pigs, wild dogs and foxes.

The grant, administered by Northern Tablelands Local Land Services with funding from the Commonwealth Government’s national $333 million drought support package to assist primary producers in drought affected areas, covers the cost of baits, canid pest ejectors, game cameras and pig traps.

“Ten members of the South West Inverell Landcare Group are now undertaking a coordinated pest control project across more than 4,000 hectares of country to reduce stock losses from predation by pest animals,” explained Leith Hawkins, Senior Land Services Officer and Project Manager with Northern Tablelands Local Land Services.

Game cameras are a key feature of the project. They have been set up at trap and baiting sites to record the activity of pigs and other feral pests, and also to monitor for evidence of native fauna such as quolls, echidnas and other small marsupials.

Alex Mason from Gum Flat has been using a game camera to monitor a pig trap site on her property.

“This is a fabulous project and the camera will make all the difference to our understanding of what’s happening out in the paddocks when we’re not around,” said Alex.

“Using the cameras means we’re no longer just guessing about what’s going on. They give you a much better insight particularly into the night life on the place.”

After feeding out grain Alex checked the camera footage and found there was a pig feeding in the area. It was then time to set the trap.

Once she’s trapped the free loading pig, Alex next plans to set up a canid pest ejector on the eastern end of the farm in the hope of catching a fox. Again she’ll be using the game camera to monitor pest activity.

“The foxes don’t cause a direct problem for our cattle,” said Alex, “But we hate seeing them taking the birds and other native animals. Also our neighbours have sheep and people need to work together to look after each other’s interests.”

GWYMAC Landcare Coordinator, Lee Thompson, has been working with the landholders involved in the project who are all from the south west Inverell area bordering on Copeton Dam.

“We have distributed the canid pest ejectors, the game cameras and the mobile pig traps, and we’re now gathering data from the landholders.”

“It will be of particular interest to get some information on how well the pest ejectors work in the field, as they haven’t previously been used extensively in this area,” said Lee.

At the end of the three month long project, Lee will use the information collected by the game cameras to compile a report on their findings.

Media contact:  Annabelle Monie 0429 626 326, 02 6720 8317