Going into Goats: A practical guide to producing goats in the rangelands

Wild dog control

1. Wild dog management needs to be coordinated and applied at a landscape scale
  • Community wild dog management programs have proven to be effective in Queensland and other states.
  • Development of wild dog management committees which are comprised of affected stakeholders, have delivered improved wild dog management outcomes for producers.
  • Effective wild dog management programs are those that involve all stakeholders, including private and public land managers.
  • Programs need to be integrated, using as many forms of control as possible, in order to eliminate a greater proportion of the wild dog population.
  • Large scale coordinated baiting programs are an effective means of reducing populations, but long term targeted on farm programs may be required to reduce annual impacts.
  • Developing community based wild dog management plans will assist in providing information on wild dog movements and allow for better targeting and communication within the control program.
2. Control needs to be targeted
  • Less is better when targeted.
  • Be proactive instead of re-active.
  • Become familiar with the signs of dog activity, such as agitated stock, movement of kangaroos and wallabies from paddocks where they are usually found as well as dog tracks and scats.
  • Actively look for the presence of wild dogs and implement control before they have an impact rather than implementing control in response to attacks.
  • Wild dogs are creatures of habit and will use the same travel routes and corridors within the landscape regardless of where they have come from.
3. 1080 baiting programs can be conducted while minimising risk to working dogs
  • Following best practice guidelines for 1080 baiting will limit the risk to working dogs.
  • The retrieval and destruction of baits is critical in reducing risk to working dogs.
  • Tying baits with wire to known locations and/or burying them will allow effective retrieval of baits, giving the producer confidence that the bait has either been eaten or collected prior to mustering.
  • Tying and burying baits prevents them from being removed by non-target animals, improving effectiveness.
  • More is not necessarily better. A few strategically placed baits in areas of known wild dog activity often delivers far more effective control than broad scale distribution of baits in areas the dogs don’t use.
  • Avoid risks to working dogs by leaving them at home when checking baits or travelling to areas of the property where control has been undertaken.
4. Integrate as many control techniques as possible on farm
  • Where possible, utilise trapping and shooting in conjunction with baiting, to achieve better control. No one technique on its own will deliver effective control.
  • Manage other farm activities prior to wild dog control programs so wild dogs are not disturbed and forced out of the area.
5. Wild dog management should be about reducing impacts rather than eradication
  • Manage dogs to reduce impacts as eradication is unlikely.
Best practice indicators
  • Calm and less agitated stock resulting in ease of handling and weight gain
  • Reduction in bites and dog related injuries
  • More confidence in the use of 1080
  • Delivery of effective community based wild dog management programme