Central West Local Land Services has recently completed an aerial feral pig control shoot in partnership with the Yelkin Forest Pest Group.
The partnership saw nearly 300 feral pigs removed from the landscape, a positive move for the local agriculture industry facing a challenging drought.
Farmer Greg Keeley was one of the landholders involved in the program and said the program will bring many benefits.
“After a run of good seasons after 2010, the local feral pig population reached a critical mass and became difficult to control in-country,” Mr Keeley said.
“The drought brought them out a bit more and soon we had a problem. They were really starting to cut into our operations; either through helping themselves to feed meant for lambs or disturbing lambing ewes.
“The other aspect was that they brought illegal hunters onto private property, creating all sorts of headaches.”
The three day shoot covered around 120,000 hectares and was a joint effort between the Yelkin Forest Pest Group, Central West and Riverina Local Land Services staff, Forestry Corporation of NSW and Crown Lands.
“The project was kicked off from a meeting with Craig Ridley at Local Land Services and we were able to tap into a separate aerial shooting program in the Riverina.
“Local Land Services have been fantastic to deal with and none of this would have happened without the efforts of Craig and his team.
“Now that we’ve performed an initial knockdown of feral pigs, we can follow up with shooting, trapping and baiting to address the remaining problem.”
Central West Local Land Services sourced funding from the Pest Levy Fund for the aerial shoot, and to supply traps and remote cameras for landholders’ follow up control work, said Local Land Services Senior Biosecurity Officer, Craig Ridley.
“This is the first project of this type in the Lake Cargelligo area and we’ve seen pleasing results,” Mr Ridley said.
“Landholders had been trapping, poisoning and shooting, but struggling to keep pace with the population increase.
“Thanks to their initiative, the pig population is back to a manageable size and the community is well placed to catch and control what remains.”