WILD DOG STUDY - call for more `dog-bite’ records


A joint project by the Department of Primary Industry and  Resources (DPIR) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)  aims to assess the impact of wild dogs on beef cattle and to review the  effectiveness of current control strategies across the Northern Territory.


Wild dogs bite cattle and also kill calves. Fifteen in every  100 pregnancies do not result in a calf for a typical herd in northern  Australia, but the level of loss caused by wild dogs is not known. Plus, 1080  baiting programs don’t appear to consistently reduce calf loss.


Kieren  McCosker (DPIR Katherine) will collate and analyse dog-bite information. Jane  Douglas (DPIR Tennant Creek) has offered to help record dog-bite data when  cattle are being worked in the yards. Will Dobbie (DENR Alice Springs) is  surveying pastoralists about their wild dog problem, control strategy, and  results. A big THANK YOU to those who have already contributed. More  information is needed for a meaningful outcome.


Anticipated outcomes from dog-bite records include:

  • regional estimates of the frequency of mauled young  cattle;
  • assessment of the  influence of various risk factors (e.g. cow-age class, proximity to unbaited  lands, baiting levels, etc.) on calf damage;
  • assessment of the effectiveness of different  control strategies on attack rates;
  • assessment of the  predictability of reproductive failure rates using indicators of wild dog  activity.
WILD DOG STUDY - call for more `dog-bite’ recordsWILD DOG STUDY - call for more `dog-bite’ records


Records  can be submitted online:

Individual  stations will not be identified, but grouped into their region or management  style.

Background  project support

  • The National Wild  Dog Action Plan recommends the development and use of ways to record wild dog  impacts at regional, state and national levels;
  • A field day in  the Katherine region in 2014 saw producers concerned about dog-damaged calves,  but they had no real guidance on the best strategy to reduce the problem;
  • The  pastoral-based Review Panel into 1080 use in the NT in 2015 recommended  `Conduct research into the impact of 1080 use against wild dogs on pastoral  land’;
  • The NT Natural  Resource Management Plan 2016-2020 recommends further research into the impact  of wild dogs on biodiversity and pastoral productivity.


Kieren McCosker (DPIR Katherine)
Ph: 8973 9771  
Email:  kieren.mccosker@nt.gov.au

Jane Douglas (DPIR Tennant Creek)
Ph: 8962 4483    
Email: jane.douglas@nt.gov.au

Will Dobbie (DENR Alice Springs)    
Ph:  8951 5039  
Email: william.dobbie@nt.gov.au

Last updated: 30 April 2020

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