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.
Records can be submitted online:
- `Dog-bite’ records https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/dogbite
- Management Survey https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/dogmanagement
- Or contact one of our team to arrange a visit.
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
Jane Douglas (DPIR Tennant Creek)
Ph: 8962 4483
Will Dobbie (DENR Alice Springs)
Ph: 8951 5039
Last updated: 30 April 2020
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