Introducing Bill Crisp and Scent Dog Bugs, who operate Tracs Wild Dog Management. Bill will be submitting a series of short articles in the upcoming BRRVLN newsletters. Tracs is a pest animal control business based locally, targeting Wild Dogs, feral cats and red fox.
The term ‘Wild Dogs ‘ is applied to all canines living independently of man, including dingos, hybrid dingo cross dogs and domestic dogs that have gone feral.
Dingos came to Australia approximately 3000 years ago, traded into north Australia through Asian fishermen, now found throughout the mainland. The Dingo never got as far as Tasmania. Wild Dogs are a ‘declared pest animal’ under the Local Land Services Act 2013, which means that all canines living independently of man are listed as a “declared pest animal”, the Legislation states that all land occupiers must suppress and control these Wild Dogs.
Wild dogs are scattered across the North Coast in varying densities, depending on the local topography, land use and control works being implemented. They are interbreeding at an increasing level with domestic dogs and adapting very well to the semi urban environment. We regularly encounter Dingo cross dogs running with what look like pure Kelpies and the 7 wild dogs we removed from Cabarita Beach in 2015 fit that description of cross breeding.
The ongoing spread of small acreage properties has created the perfect habitat for wild dogs, with a combination of open farm land adjoining heavily timbered areas with an understorey of scrub and Lantana. Established farm tracks and roads leading to abundant watering points, equates to a very difficult landscape to manage. Increasingly they are coming into conflict with people, domestic livestock and pets and native species.
We often here about livestock being killed and the impact on farmers, but what is mostly unreported is the impact on native animals. It is thought that around 95 % of a wild dog’s diet is native species, mostly Eastern Grey Kangaroo and Wallaby. A wild dog scat identification project conducted near Coffs Harbour in 2016, from 78 scat samples, identified a variety of Macropods, Possums, Bandicoots and Koala, along with Swamp Rats and insects.
If you have recently noticed wild dogs howling or an increase in sightings, it is because the main breeding season on the north coast seems to run from March through to mid May. Although TC Debbie did upset the normal breeding season and it may run later this year, whilst the weather remains warm and mild. There is some good news, as we step into mid May we are heading towards the end of the wild dog breeding season and usually less wild dog impact over the winter months.
To get successful wild dog management organically, we link the landscape to the biological process of the resident wild dogs.
Next time we will talk about how we locate, target and remove individual wild dogs.
For more information go to www.tracswilddogs.com.au www.tracswilddogs.com.au