NWDAP Communiqué 20

June 2016 | Edition 2016 – 3

News from the Implementation Steering Committee

Michael McCormack chaired a teleconference of the Implementation Steering Committee on 31st May 2016 in the absence of Duncan Fraser. The committee’s contribution to the NWDAP at this meeting, focused on communication and engagement. This included key messages for the use of poisons 1080 and PAPP, the development of facilitators’ and coordinators’ skills and the expectations and outcomes of the Stakeholder Consultative Group forum in July.

Geoff Power, the interim Chairman of the Stakeholder Consultative Group, has played a major role in developing the proceedings of the forum. It will be held at the Mercure Hotel, International Airport, Sydney on 21st and 22nd July. Over 50 people have been invited to ensure diverse points of view from interests such as natural resource conservation, vocational educational training, public relations, livestock grazing, animal welfare, chemical regulation, policy development, research, social science, community engagement, pest management and pet management.

Geoff Power portrait

“This annual stakeholder forum has been a very important part of the Action Plan’s success. The delegates not only get a lot out of sharing information on what has happened under the plan but they all spend many hours thinking about how wild dog control can be improved. That insight and foresight drives how we achieve under the national plan”, Mr Power said.

The forum delegates will report on their own contribution to the National Wild Dog Action Plan and be updated on a selection of funded activities such as the roll out of Wild Dog Scan, professional training for vertebrate pest animal controllers, improvements to community engagement, measurement of wild dog impacts and resources and numerous public relations and education activities. Elections for Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Stakeholder Consultative Group will be held. The Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre will host a briefing on the newly approved poison, PAPP and discuss what lies ahead for pest animal research and extension investments next year.

A theme for discussions over dinner will be the increasing concerns from wild dog threats to people or their activities around urban areas or where there is increasing contact with humans.

Most importantly, the delegates will workshop their ideas on investments needed to complete NWDAP activities in following years. The NWDAP finishes in 2019 and the Implementation Steering Committee has decided to proceed under the assumption a mid-point review of the plan in December 2016 will recommend it continues for the next 3 years.

Mid-point review of the National Wild Dog Action Plan

The NWDAP is a 2014 to 2019 strategy with defined actions to reduce the impacts of wild dogs on agricultural, biodiversity and social assets. The Implementation Steering Committee invites consultants to tender for the mid-point review of this plan and the Stage 1 and Stage 2 funded projects that have targeted the progression of activities within it. Tenders are to be received by 14th July.

The terms of reference document for the review can be requested from Jane Littlejohn, Action Plan Implementation Manager; email: jane.littlejohn@invasiveanimals.com or mob: 0427827498.

Pest Animal Controller Training Project begins

The ongoing goal of wild dog management is sustained reduction in the impacts on wildlife and livestock, and consistency across a range of wild dog management areas has been a requirement for many years, including consistency in training programs.

The Implementation Steering Committee has initiated a Pest Animal Controller (PAC) Project, which aims to establish national minimum training standards for PACs. The proposed training program will include all aspects of best practice management and the various control tools. This will provide a mechanism for the recognition of a wild dog control profession. The agreed skill set will also give confidence to employ control officers from outside local communities and across state/territory borders.

Top images: Bait preparation SA and Glenn Innes Trapper Training courtesy Greg Mifsud Bottom image: Wild dogs in rubbish tip courtesy IACRC and Chris Perry

Michele Jackson (former Action Plan Implementation Manager) has been tasked with leading this PAC Training Project. Michele has teamed with NSW New England Pest Animal Controller and Trainer, Stuart Boyd-Law and Jenny Carroll, a training development and delivery expert.

The training project will run for twelve months beginning in May 2016 and contain four elements:

  1. Developing the content of training resources to meet stakeholder agreed best practice and industry needs
  2. Establishing a pathway for a nationally recognised qualification in mainland states and territories
  3. Facilitating training delivery of five pilot programs to progressively fine-tune the delivery and content
  4. Establishing an evaluation framework for use in future training.

As Project Manager, Michele said “It is very exciting to be able to liaise with all the knowledgeable stakeholders and work towards achieving national training consistency across the states and territories. This is certainly one of the key objectives for the National Wild Dog Action Plan (NWDAP).

To kick-off the project we have initiated a desktop analysis of current vertebrate pest management courses delivered and associated resources in each state. We will then convene a Stakeholder Consultative Group Training and Extension Working Group workshop in July to review the desktop analysis findings and provide an opportunity to refine the proposed course content.”

A Project Page will be set-up on the NWDAP website: https://nationalwilddogactionplan.org.au so interested stakeholders can keep up-to-date with the project’s progress.

Wild dogs featured on ABC Landline

On 11 June 2016, ABC’s Landline program aired a segment highlighting the current state of play in Australia regarding wild dogs and control measures, including the introduction of PAPP into the market.

The program featured interviews with NWDAP Chair Duncan Fraser, Linton Staples of Animal Control Technologies Australia (ACTA), Ian Evans from AWI, Andreas Glaznig Invasive Animals CRC CEO, RSPCA Chief Science and Strategy Officer Bidda Jones, Victorian farmer Robert Belcher, and Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce.

One of the goals for the National Wild Dog Action Plan is to increase awareness, understanding and capacity building, and this project certainly caught plenty of attention in the days leading up to the broadcast: the short preview clip that Landline posted on Facebook to promote the segment was watched over 900,000 times and attracted plenty of comments and reactions. To put that into perspective; a Landline promotional clip posted earlier this year on the origins of the Kelpie has been viewed just over 100,000 times.

Landline aired a well-rounded story that featured differing opinion and sides of the debate.

You can watch the segment and read the transcript on the ABC website.

PAPP: First new predator toxin in 50 years becomes available

After more than 11 years of thorough scientific testing within Australia and overseas, Animal Control Technologies Australia Pty Ltd (ACTA), Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) and the Australian government through the Invasive Animals CRC are proud to officially announce that two new poison baits—Dogabait and Foxecute®—are now available for use in Australia.

This is the first new predator toxin in 50 years, since 1080 was released on the market [more…]

Field Days for NWDAP

NWDAP will be partnering with PestSmart, ACTA, and AWI to showcase the projects, publications, personnel, best practise methods and new technologies available for wild dog management around the country.

By attending various industry field days and conferences, visitors have the opportunity to meet Greg Mifsud (National Wild Dog Facilitator) and the regional wild dog facilitators, learn more about wild dog R&D, and find information about new technologies and best practise methods for managing the problem in their area.

Exhibits have been confirmed at the following field days and conferences with more to be announced for 2017:

Wild Dogs in the Wire