Landholders in the Rocky Dam Creek and Carmila Catchments have come together as part of an ongoing effort to control feral pigs, with aerial control throughout the catchments scheduled mid December 2014.
The December 2013 aerial shoot successfully culled 171 pigs, significantly reducing the impact of this pest across the region. Previous aerial control programs have delivered strong benefits to sugarcane and grazing properties with many landholders reporting reduced damage to crops and paddocks and increased productivity.
The feral pig control program is now an annual event thanks to the dedication of local landholders desperate to address the problem.
Landholders consider their contribution to the cost of one hour of flight time money well spent, and the number of local landholders participating in the program grows every year.
Reef Catchments’ Water and Waterways project officer, Iona Flett, said the program was part of a wider regional integrated program and was essential to managing feral pig numbers across Mackay and the Whitsundays.
“Left unchecked, feral pigs can do significant damage – to the natural environment, agricultural areas, cane paddocks and grazing pastures. They also create water quality issues by disturbing riparian vegetation and sediment,” she said.
“Aerial and ground pig control is an essential part of pest management in the Mackay region. Reducing feral pig numbers delivers direct benefits to the local agricultural industry, the environment and the wider community.
“We would like to thank all project partners for their support, in particular, the farmers involved and the Mackay Regional Council staff. We hope to keep working together to establish a cost-effective program to get feral pigs under control across a wide area.”
The project is currently delivered in partnership with the landholders, Sarina Landcare Catchment Management Association, Reef Catchments (MWI) Limited and Mackay Regional Council with funding from the State and Federal Governments.
Landholders in the Rocky Dam Creek and Carmila Catchments that are interested in participating in the upcoming coordinated Feral Pig Program should contact Nadine Hamill (Sarina Catchment Landcare) on 4956 1388 for more information.