Issue 18, June 2014

NRM Notes
Issue 18, June 2014
Vertebrate Pest Research Unit, Orange NSW 2800
In this issue:
Competition now open! Free entry!
ACTA Award Winner Sue Metcalf - p1
Little River Landcare
Field Day - p3
Hovells Creek Action
Plan Launch - p4
Weddin Shire Pest
Seminar - p5
New Feralscan
community facility - p6
National Wild Dog
Action Plan - p7
You can
contact me:
Jessica Marsh
National NRM Facilitator
P: +61 2 6391 3907
M: 0400 586 060
A well deserved award for Sue Metcalf and
Chittering Landcare - ‘Securing our Future’
Sue is the hard working coordinator of
the Brockman River and Ellen Brook
Catchment Group that is based within
the Chittering Landcare Centre These
rivers are 80Km north of Perth and
contribute ultimately to the Swan River
Catchment. The catchments cover
2200 square km of land including high
density urban areas, peri urban small
rural holdings, broad-acre farming and
National Parks.
Congratulations Sue!
The community spoke and Chittering Landcare listened! The community
identified invasive animals as a big problem in their Western Australian periurban environment and yet no one had the skills or equipment to properly
deal with them. After a community meeting, an initial amount of funding
was secured to train field operators which gave their group legitimacy and
guidance about the best options to control the animals.
Continued on next page...
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NRM Notes
From page 1....
After the training the group looked at the best methods of capturing feral pigs in their area and the only real
option they had was traps. After trialling many different traps they came up with two that suit the pigs in the
area and a different combination of baits for different times of the year. “Each area is different – what works
in your area may not work somewhere else”.
Sue says “Our program is simple. We trap and remove feral pigs and bait and opportunistically shoot foxes.
We have six trained trappers, two of which are employed by the group as contractors. The contractors provide
their own bait, vehicle, fuel and insurance. Trapping is a very resource intensive method of management but
given our limited ability to use poison (proximity to residences) it is the only method available to us.”
“Your people are your greatest asset. It is so important to keep them happy and motivated. Feed them!!!
A cup of coffee and a chat goes a long way to help your program achieve great outcomes.” The group have
removed 243 pigs in the last 18 months. By trapping, shooting and poisoning they have reduced the fox
population by 2,400 in two months.
“It is not rocket science. It’s basic. And it works”
NRM Notes
The Invasive Animals CRC welcomes Kylee Carpenter!
We would like to welcome a new media and marketing Communications Officer, Kylee
Carpenter, to our Canberra office. Her first week on the job was the AVPC Conference in
Brisbane - perhaps a little overwhelming but a great chance to meet lots of people! Kylee
comes to us from an environmental NGO where she was responsible for event management,
communications and everything in between. She has 14 years experience in environmental
management and sustainability advisory roles in various organisations involved in
environmental advocacy, local government, health care, academia and utilities.
[email protected] or phone: +61 2 6201 2890
Kylee will be the IA CRC media contact and is
responsible for the upcoming annual report.
Great to have you on board Kylee!
Little River Landcare Pest & Weed Field Day, Yeoval N.S.W
Sue Metcalf and the Chittering Landcare group were awarded the Animal Control Technologies Australia
(ACTA) Award at the Australiasian Vertebrate Pest Conference in May. Sue and her group have demonstrated
true community-led action and motivated hundreds at the conference during her key-note presentation.
Thanks Sue and thanks to ACTA who support practitioners out there - keep up the good work.
Contact Sue Metcalf:
[email protected]
Little River Landcare situated in the Central West of NSW hosted an Invasive Pests & Weeds workshop
to coincide with their current Rivers & Rocks Project- it was a unique opportunity for landholders to
address the issue of invasive species along Riparian zones.
Follow up story from last issue .... St Helens Fox Program
‘Southern Brown Bandicoots spreading under the
community fox control umbrella at St Helens.’
Images fresh from the remote sensing cameras around the St Helens
Reserve are showing the endangered Southern Brown Bandicoot
are positively responding to a fox control program. The Basalt to
Bay Landcare Network has been coordinating a fox control program
funded by Pacific Hydro and the Glenelg Hopkins CMA over the
past 8 weeks. The program is designed to reduce fox pressure on the
Southern Brown Bandicoots in the Parks Victoria St Helens Reserve,
so that the bandicoots can spread into adjoining land and habitat
without predator impacts.
Contact: Lisette Mill, Basalt to Bay Landcare Network, Koroit Vic 3282
0408 712 713 [email protected]
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The day was well attended by over 20 farmers all eager to gain further knowledge in current methods
on targeting feral pests & weeds on their property. The calibre of speakers from the Invasive Animals
Cooperative Research Centre (IACRC) in Orange lead by Jess Marsh & Chris Lane was outstanding.
Practical demonstrations in monitoring and control proved popular with the landholders, gathering
further skills and new ideas to help in the management and control of pests on their land.
“ Great day with lots of information not normally seen in Field days. I was brought up
to date with new techniques for fox and pig baiting that I was previously unaware of. I
thoroughly enjoyed the amount of research that has been conducted in these areas and
the way it was presented.”
Don Bruce “Merriwong” Cumnock - Landholder & participant in the Rivers & Rocks project.
Contact: Pip Job and Mel Kiel, Little River Landcare, Yeoval, N.S.W
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 02 68464569
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NRM Notes
Hovells Creek Landcare Action Plan Launch
The Hovells Creek Landcare ‘Action Plan for Habitat Management in the Western
Sector of the Kanangra Boyd to Wyangala (K2W) Corridor of the Great Eastern
Ranges’ was launched at the Reids Flat Community Hall in NSW on Friday 16
The Action Plan has been developed by Hovells Creek Landcare over the past six
months with considerable input from regional landholders, the local community
and wildlife, habitat management, cultural heritage, weed and feral animal control
experts, with funding support from the Great Eastern Ranges initiative through
its K2W community group funding program.
The Kanangra-Boyd to Wyangala (K2W) Link Corridor is part of the Great
Eastern Ranges Initiative (GERI), a major interstate project which brings together
community groups, conservation and farming bodies and public agencies to
link and protect native species habitats along the Great Dividing Range (www. The long term goal is to support native species
migrations along a natural corridor stretching 3,600km from the Grampians in
western Victoria, through NSW, the ACT and Queensland to the wet tropics to
the north of Cairns.
A major focus of the plan and indeed the corridor as a whole is the management
of pest animal species. The IA CRC has been involved in guiding on-ground
cooperative and strategic actions and project funding initiatives in the region.
On hand to launch the plan was the NSW Minister for Agriculture, and Member
for Burrinjuck, the Honourable Katrina Hodgkinson MP.
Contact: Keith Hyde, Hovells Creek Landcare, 02 63452405 [email protected]
Facilitation at a Glance: Your
Pocket Guide to Facilitation
Facilitation skills are crucial to the success of groups and teams.
Facilitators guide and direct the process, therefore resulting
in more effective and efficient projects. Considering all the
meetings that project managers and leaders hold, it’s easy to see
why facilitation is fast becoming recognised as an essential core
skill! Not only do project managers need to know how to run
highly effective meetings, they also need strategies for creating
buy-in, overcoming resistance and building true consensus.
After more than12 years as a best seller, Facilitation at a
Glance! is now in its third edition packed with even more
resources, exciting tools, and a new concise look!
Check it out online @
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Weddin shire feral animal seminar
leads to on ground action!
On the 8th April Weddin Landcare and Central West Local
Land Services hosted a seminar on feral animals that are
prevalent in the shire. The day was well supported by over
30 landholders and Grenfell residents who gained a valuable
insight into management options for feral animals. We had an
array of guest speakers from various relevant organisations
including Local Land Services (LLS), The Invasive Animal
Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) and Animal Control
Technologies Australia (ACTA).
One of the biggest outcomes of the day was the formation
of 6 action groups (based on location) who will work
collaboratively with neighbours and gain more support in
their area. Each of these 6 groups has a coordinator who will
liase with the LLS and listen to their members to ensure a
coordinated approach to management is carried out across
the region.
Progress and Action!
After the local seminar, Weddin Landcare sponsored a
1080 and Pindone course for about 15 locals, ran by Kim
Rogers and Wendy Gill. Participants heard lots of practical
information amongst all the regulations. All have now
received certification cards and 2 groups have already carried
out a group fox baiting with others planning to.
Some of the groups formed from the seminar have reported
that they have found a few extra members by word of mouth.
Landcare has also been in contact with National Parks and
State Forests who are both happy to be included in any group
activities. Some cameras are also going out so farmers can get
a feel for them before the group launches into larger scale pig
baiting and monitoring.
Contact: Stephen Perieira
E: [email protected] P: 0409 814 182
Want up to date information
about the IACRC and what our
researchers are doing?
Like us on Facebook!
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NRM Notes
“Toolbox Tour” with US engagement experts raise
interesting issue about community engagement
An international team of researchers and facilitators held workshops about
community engagement practices, barriers and opportunities across Australia
during May. The team included community engagement expert Lyndal JoyThompson from the IACRC and UNE, IA CRC National Facilitators Jessica Marsh, Greg Mifsud and
Lisa Adams, and, collaborators from Pennsylvania State University, Bill Shuffstall and Walt Whitmer.
Bill and Walt, whom each have 30 years experience, have developed an online Toolbox to provide
resources for community engagement practitioners in the Australian NRM and invasive animal space.
The collective team was seeking to better learn and understand how we do things in Australia, and, to
identify gaps and opportunities in community engagement, techniques, tools, training, practices and
processes. Workshops were held in, Armidale, Melbourne, Orange, Perth, Swan Hill and Toowoomba.
Participants included LLS staff, biosecurity officers, Landcare & NRM coordinators, NPWS officers,
government professionals, landholders and researchers, ensuring a good mix of perspectives and
The workshops uncovered a vast amount of knowledge held by local engagement professionals and
participants provided a large list of ‘wishes’ and needs for inclusion in the toolbox. The importance of
issues like trust, building relationships, conflict resolution skills, good facilitation skills, mentoring in
engagement and the need to plan for and evaluate engagement activities emerged as key themes from
the workshops. Watch this space for future updates on the new resources that will become available
for everyone.
For more information, contact Lyndal Joy-Thompson: [email protected]
New community facility in FeralScan
FeralScan now hosts a NEW community facility for you to create or join an online group to share your observations
with other active people in your local area. By joining a group, you can (1) keep members better informed about
current pest problems, (2) work together with members to target problem areas, and (3) measure the outcomes
of control across your local area. Groups can also print maps for planning of future pest animal control.
If you are a member of an existing group (such as a landholder network or Local Council) this new feature could
be very useful to you and your members.
Simply visit or contact Peter West on [email protected]
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NRM Notes
Check it out online @
After 12 months of development and consultation, the National Wild Dog Action Plan will be officially
launched by the Federal Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, on the 4 July in Armidale.
WoolProducers Australia brought together key stakeholders from around the country to harness the work
being done on wild dogs to facilitate a nationally coordinated approach. The Invasive Animals CRC will be
part of the launch in Armidale showcasing our wild dog research and management strategies.
The aim of the Plan is to deliver best practice for wild dog management that is safe, efficient and humane and
supports continuing economic activity while being socially acceptable and environmentally sustainable.
Wild dog control work is already being conducted by local and regional groups and the national approach
seeks to build on and strengthen this work, consistent with local priorities.
Wild dogs are a known or potential risk to at least 14 native mammals, reptiles and birds and estimates of
the impacts on the Australian economy from livestock production losses conservatively range from $48-60
million annually. The Final Draft Plan is available from WoolProducers Australia
Update on Yorke
Peninsula Fox
baiting Program
As part of the Southern Yorke Peninsula
Fox baiting for biodiversity program
which commenced in 2007, field staff from
Natural Resources Northern and Yorke
have been collecting fox scat samples
over the past 3 baiting rounds for dietary
The February to April rounds occur when
landowners are lambing throughout
Southern Yorke Peninsula, and the results
in 2013 show that the foxes diet consisted
of a high percentage of sheep.
The October to November round occurs
when rabbit numbers peak and data shows
them as the main feed source at that time.
This year mice numbers on parts of Yorke
Peninsula have reached plague numbers,
and the most recent results reflect this in
the foxes diet (see figure above right).
Each round of baiting sees 2,800 baits being laid at 690 permanent
bait sites over an area of 80,000 hectares during a ten week period.
This process occurs twice a year.
One of the pleasing observations is that reptile scales, bird feathers,
bird bones and egg shells are currently a small part of the foxes
diet. If fox numbers can be kept low enough, the impacts on the
endangered species being protected by the program will also be
Contact Ken Rudd: [email protected]
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Invasive Animals CRC
This section of NRM Notes is dedicated to the scientific
papers that have recently been published and are
important in progressing our knowledge in pest
management. Below are summaries of two recent
journal publications- I hope you find them interesting.
If you would like a copy of these scientific papers in full,
please don’t hesitate to contact me at:
[email protected]
Slow recruitment in a red-fox population following poison baiting: a non-invasive
mark–recapture analysis
By Oliver Berry, Jack Tatler, Neil Hamilton, Steffi Hilmer, Yvette Hitchen and Dave Algar
From: Wildlife Research, 2013, 40, 615–623
Journal and article webpage:
Optimal management of invasive species should determine the interval between lethal-control operations that
will sustain a desired population suppression at minimum cost. This requires an understanding of the species’
rate of recruitment following control. These data are difficult to acquire for vertebrate carnivores such as the
red fox (Vulpes vulpes), which are not readily trapped or observed.
We used non-invasive DNA sampling of fox hairs in semi-arid Western Australia where the population was
subject to two episodes of aerially delivered sodium fluoroacetate (1080) poison baits within 12 months.
Sampling took place at ~45-day intervals and individual foxes were identified by genotyping eight microsatellite
DNA markers and a genderspecific marker.
Following a severe reduction in density after baiting, fox density during the ensuing 12 months increased slowly
(0.01 foxes km–2 month–1), such that density had only reached 22% of pre-baiting levels ~10 months after
the initial baiting. Baiting with 1080 poison significantly reduced the density of foxes, and the low density was
sustained for more than 6 months. Foxes moved significantly further between recaptures after baiting when at
low densities. Control programs in this region may be carried out at low frequency to suppress fox density to a
fraction of unbaited levels. The intensity of follow-up baiting may also be adjusted downwards, to take account
of an increased probability of bait encounter in more mobile foxes.
Power Hours-Invasive Species Communication Through Collaborative Webinars
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By Annemarie M. Nagle, Robin Usborne, Amy Stone, Deborah McCullough, and Clifford S. Sadof
From: The Journal for Extension - Expanding and updating the research and knowledge base for Extension professionals and other adult educators to improve their effectiveness.
Journal homepage:
Invasive species are widely recognized as critical threats to global biodiversity, agriculture, and natural resources
(Aukema et al., 2011; Pimentel, Zuniga, & Morrison, 2005). As our understanding of invasion pathways and
the role of human transport in spreading invasive species has increased, so too has the importance of public
education and outreach. Invasive species education and management are thus increasingly important aspects
of the duties of agriculture and natural resources Extension professionals at local, state, and federal levels
(Sundermeier, 2005). In a time when many state and federal agencies are experiencing budget cuts and some
states are terminating their Extension programs altogether, cross-agency collaborations can help reduce costs
and increase efficiency and impact.
The collaborative webinar project Emerald Ash Borer University (EAB-U) was established in 2009 to address
pressing communications needs regarding the invasive emerald ash borer in the midst of national financial
crisis. The 40 EAB-U webinars to date have been viewed over 10,000 times. Results of a post-webinar survey
evaluating audience composition, impact, and participant satisfaction are presented, and suggest EAB-U
webinars reach key audiences who share and apply learned information. Extension professionals faced with
complex issues such as invasive species should consider a collaborative webinar approach to efficiently
communicate harmonized messages in a cost effective manner.
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