FeralScan celebrates 10 years of pest monitoring

Launched on Australia Day, 2011, FeralScan™ marks its 10th year milestone with a major makeover and enhancements to its dashboard interface – check it out at www.feralscan.org.au.

FeralScan™ is a free resource that woolgrowers – plus other landholders, community groups and professional pest animal controllers – can use to record information about pest animal activity in their local area.

FeralScan™ is a free community pest management resource from the Centre for Invasive Species Solutions. It includes sections devoted to the key pest animals that affect the businesses of woolgrowers: wild dogs, foxes, rabbits, feral pigs and deer.

You can use FeralScan™ to map pest animal activity, document problems, upload photos, and record control activities. By keeping yourself and your neighbours informed about pest animals in your local area, you are helping protect farms and their livestock, biodiversity and communities.

Launched on Australia Day 2011, FeralScan™ has marked its tenth anniversary with a major upgrade, which will enhance pest animal management programs across Australia.

Peter West, FeralScan™ national coordinator and invasive species specialist with NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) said FeralScan™ has grown from a simple citizen science project into a popular, community-led monitoring and management program with more than a quarter of a million pest animal records.

“FeralScan™ contains data entered by more than 25,000 people, making it the largest community-driven pest animal monitoring program in Australia,” Peter said.

“Continuous input from farmers and other users has delivered an important resource which informs pest animal management programs across the country.

“More than 400 community and biosecurity groups now use the resource in a strategic way to monitor pest animals, plan control, document their efforts and evaluate outcomes”.

Helen Lawson, sheep producer and Hargraves-Hill End Landholder Group Secretary in the Central Tablelands of NSW, is a proud ally and FeralScan™ user.

“We use FeralScan™ to monitor wild dog activity. It automatically notifies landholders and the local community of wild dog reports, which help us plan and undertake control measures,” Helen said.

“The group has used FeralScan™ to record wild dog sightings, attacks on livestock and control activities across their district to improve the effectiveness of management. It has become increasingly useful as more people use the resource.”

FeralScan™ works through a user-friendly website and phone app and Peter has travelled across Australia to consult with and support landholder and community groups to ensure they are getting the full benefits of the resource.

In 2016, FeralScan™ was recognised with a national Banksia Foundation Award for its contribution to enhancing environmental outcomes within Australia through science and research innovation. Another FeralScan™ milestone was the 2017 national release of the RHDV1 K5 rabbit biocontrol agent when it became Australia’s first real-time rabbit biocontrol monitoring service.

FeralScan™ receives funding from AWI, the Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment and NSW DPI through the Centre for Invasive Species Solutions.

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