Biosecurity experts have joined forces with landholders in the Hills, Hawkesbury and Hornsby regions to launch a pest animal control campaign throughout spring.
Led by Greater Sydney Local Land Services, the program is set to target wild dogs and foxes threatening livestock, wildlife, and domestic pets in the area.
Project lead, Biosecurity Officer Jacob French, said the program was going ahead in line with strict COVID safety protocols.
“While the risk of COVID in our region is very real, feral pests don’t listen to stay-at-home orders and we know wild dogs and foxes are more active during spring,” he said. “That’s why Local Land Services has set up contactless bait collection to allow us to continue carrying out this critical work while still protecting ourselves and our customers.”
The program will target impacted properties in Cattai, Glenorie, Richmond, Upper Colo, Wilberforce and Laughtondale. Mr French said while this year’s program was smaller due to COVID safety protocols, landholder co-operation and involvement remained strong. “The support of our landholders is critical to achieving the best outcomes and is crucial to the success of our program,” he said.
He said the program would see the use of 1080 baits and canid pest ejectors placed strategically on properties in line with strict government legislation.
“Only authorised, fully trained operators with current chemical qualifications are permitted to use 1080 or prepare baits which includes our officers and all involved landholders,” he said.
“Rules around use include a comprehensive risk assessment of target areas, extensive public notification processes, placing bait minimum distances from habitation, use of remote cameras to minimise the presence of non-target animals, clear signposts as well as bait tethering and/or burying to further protect native wildlife and domestic pets.”
Mr French said 1080 was a naturally occurring toxin found in more than 30 species of native Australian plants.
He said it doesn’t damage the natural environment, as it’s water-soluble and readily broken down by naturally occurring bacteria and fungi.
“Australia’s native wildlife have evolved tolerance to 1080, unlike the introduced dog and Foxes. That is why it is considered the best environmental option to control pest animals,” he said.
The program began on Wednesday (September 22) and will run until October 20th 2021.
For more information on the use of 1080 visit bit.ly/3BiuP92 or contact Greater Sydney Local Land Services on 1300 795 299 for more information.