The annual Northern Tablelands aerial baiting campaign targeting wild dogs and foxes has come to an end after two weeks in the air. The campaign began at Niangala and worked its way up to Legume, north of Tenterfield.
The 2021 wild dog and fox aerial baiting campaign was, once again, a collaboration between 409 private landholders, Local Land Services, NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service and NSW Forestry Corporation.
During the campaign, which was the culmination of five months of meticulous mapping and planning, an experienced team of Northern Tablelands Local Land Services staff injected each of the baits with 1080 (sodium fluoroacetate), loaded baits into the helicopter and assisted with navigating the flight path of the helicopter.
137,381 baits were dropped according to strict guidelines along 3,434 km of pre-determined aerial bait lines across both private property and country managed by government agencies.
In addition to the aerial baiting, more than 9,000 ground baits were distributed by landholders from 40 wild dog control groups to maximise the impact of the campaign on the wild dog and fox populations that predate livestock and native fauna and carry diseases.
“Landholder collaboration is critical to the success of the baiting program. We are seeing more cattle producers involved in the program as they are becoming more aware that wild dogs carry the Neospora infection that causes abortion in cattle,” said Mark Tarrant, Northern Tablelands Local Land Services Pest Animals Team Leader.
“Research suggests we need to control 70% of the wild dog population annually to prevent an explosion in numbers. We need to maintain our grip on the population to minimise the burden of wild dogs and foxes on livestock production and the environment,” said Mark.