14009: Upper Gascoyne feral pig eradication project
Feral pigs (Sus scrofa) occur over about 40 per cent of Australia and have detrimental impacts on biodiversity, and can act as reservoirs/transmission agents for a number of endemic and exotic animal diseases. They can inflict losses to agricultural production in excess of $100 million per year. In Western Australia, feral pigs are mainly found in the mid-west and south-west of the State, and in parts of the Kimberley. Feral pigs also occur in parts of the De Grey river system, and on some off-shore islands in the Kimberley.
This newly detected feral pig infestation on the Gascoyne River is the only known infestation in the Gascoyne and therefore is eradicable. There is no natural way reinfestation can occur from other known populations, given the closest feral pig population is 500km south in the Northampton area with no adjoining water sheds or suitable habitat to traverse over that 500km stretch.
The Gascoyne River also has known infestations of Mesquite, a WoNS weed which is refuge for feral pigs. Pigs will eat Mesquite seed and pass viable seed. This project complements the Shire's Mesquite management project, which also compliments this project as species, weed and animal coexist and populate from each other's presence.
This project is landholder driven with the aim to survey 100km stretch of the Gascoyne River, via aerial, ground and look-see free feeding, to establish the home range of the population and to set up traps and bait stations in strategic locations where the feral pigs are most active. The use of camera traps is pertinent to the success of the project and is recognised as an essential tool to measure densities, uptake and trapping successes.
|Investment:||$ 30 000|
|In-kind contribution:||$ 81 950|
|Delivery organisation:||Shire of Upper Gascoyne|
|Project duration:||June 2015 - May 2016|
|Location:||Gascoyne River and catchment area from Dalgety Downs to Mt Clere Station; Shire of Upper Gascoyne|
Purpose of project
This project aims to eradicate the feral pig infestation on the Gascoyne River using traps after aerial and ground surveys.