National Feral Pig Action Plan

New South Wales

Find out more about feral pigs projects taking place across New South Wales.

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Statewide

Local Land Services (LLS)

Location: New South Wales

Each of the eleven Local Land Services regions has their own strategic pest management plans (2018-2023) with priorities based on level of risk and feasibility of control. The State Pest Animal Committee oversees the operations of these strategic pest management plans across the LLS regions. LLS actively encourages landholders, across a range of scales and land tenures, to participate in co-ordinated programs in community-led groups and apply integrated best practice management practices to manage feral pig populations and their impacts.

Landholder rates are used to support vertebrate pest and weed management, animal biosecurity, plant health and emergency management programs. In 2021, the NSW Government is waiving all Local Land Services rates as part of their $3.9 billion drought assistance package.

LLS Biosecurity officers work with groups of landholders to influence behaviour change to drive adoption of different feral pig best practice control methods, undertake audits / inspections of council rubbish tips and swill feeding audits of pig producers. In some cases, private landholders pool resources to pay for contractors to manage pig traps and baiting programs at a local level.

Brucellosis & Leptospirosis incidence – South East Local Land Services (LLS)

Location: New South Wales

South East LLS is conducting a state-wide survey of feral pigs to build a better understanding of the risks of leptospirosis and swine brucellosis to animal and public health. This understanding of prevalence, distribution and impacts of brucellosis and leptospirosis will greatly aid public and animal health programs aiming to control zoonoses, as well as inform stakeholders on the need for livestock vaccination programs and feral pig control. 

Blood samples from pigs that are killed as part of routine feral pig control programs are being collected for this study. The data will be collated by South East District Veterinarians and used to provide a clear picture of the disease risks posed by feral pigs throughout the state.

Blue Mountains

NSW National Parks & Wildlife

Location: Blue Mountains, New South Wales

Feral pig control activities are conducted by NPWS on national parks and reserves managed by NPWS, with trapping, aerial shooting,
ground shooting and baiting used. Around 9% of NSW landmass is managed by NPWS and a pest and weed recording system is in place.

A total of 28,684 feral pigs were dispatched from parks under NPWS management between 2016-2019; 2,465 by trapping; 24,185 by aerial shooting; and 2,334 by ground shooting. During this period, a total of 210 feral pigs; 15 by trapping and 195 by aerial shooting were dispatched in the Blue Mountains Branch. In 2019-20, a total of 6,547 feral pigs were dispatched in NSW: 725 by trapping, 5,661 by aerial shooting, and 161 by ground shooting.

In the Blue Mountains Branch specifically in 2019-20, a total of 314 feral pigs were dispatched: 203 by trapping, and 111 by aerial shooting.

National Feral Pig Action Plan

Bourke

Bush Heritage Australia

Location: Naree Station/Bourke, New South Wales

Bush Heritage Australia is a national not-for-profit organisation, where 95% of their funding comes from donations and bequests. A key property being impacted by feral pigs is Naree Station, north of Bourke NSW. This site has unpredictable rainfall with no seasonal pattern – dry floods occur from rains in Queensland and water flows down the Paroo and Warrego Rivers into the floodplain and the Yantabulla swamp. This environment is highly conducive to feral pigs.

During wet times, pigs disperse and come together in dry times to be close to water. It is at these dry times that significant impacts from their presence are experienced. The focus of management efforts is in keeping the index of activity low (determining what this is can also be difficult). The wetlands are a large water bird breeding site which nest in lignum that pigs have access to – a waterbird consultant has been engaged to assist with addressing these issues.

To successfully manage feral pig populations, Bush Heritage Australia acknowledge that awareness of other factors is needed to evaluate the effectiveness of control programs on populations and impacts. It is not considered possible to eradicate pigs from Naree Station as well as Yantabulla Station (that they manage), as the Yantabulla swamp area is larger than these two properties. Regional level management activities, conducted over the long term, are therefore required to control feral pig populations. Limiting access to permanent, artificial water (eg. artesian bores) is being conducted by Bush Heritage Australia but these can be deep and expensive to cap.

Central Tablelands

Central Tablelands Regional Strategic Pest Animal Management Plan – Local Land Services (LLS)

Location: Central Tablelands, New South Wales

Central Tablelands LLS have several programs underway focussing on feral pig control, in response to feral pigs being a high priority pest species in this region. The objectives of their programs are to decrease the area of land impacted and degree of impacts by feral pigs, determine the biosecurity threats posed to livestock by zoonotic diseases and increase awareness of feral pig impacts and management strategies. 

In collaboration with a private vertebrate pest operator, remotely operated elevated pig traps have been evaluated to provide another control option for land managers to capture bait and/or trap shy feral pigs. This system uses cameras and motion sensors to notify landholders that pigs are present in the trap by an alert on their smartphone and provides a livestream for viewing. This work was conducted in conjunction with mining companies, private foresters, national parks and private landholders. 

The five year ‘Living on the Edge’’ project is a key project of Central Tablelands LLS and is being supported by the Australian Government’s National Landcare Regional Land Partnership, National Parks and Wildlife Service, Greater Sydney LLS, and Upper Macquarie County Council. This program is addressing key threatening processes affecting the Blue Mountains World Heritage Area. Pig programs are in place in Capatee Valley, Kanimbla Valley, Megalong Valley, Jenolan, and the Tuglow and Hollanders River catchment. Local private landholders are collaborating in this program and data on economic (e.g. livestock disease and predation, crop and pasture damage) and environmental (e.g. water assets, erosion) impacts of feral pigs is being obtained to better quantify these losses.

This program is trialling new technologies and has established a landscape-scale camera monitoring project in collaboration with Greater Sydney LLS and National Parks and Wildlife Service. The next steps for the program include continuing work in the Kanimbla area, extending the program into Jenolan and Gingkin, incorporating NPWS monitoring data into the project, undertaking HOGGONE® trials, continued trialling of the telemetry traps and working more collaboratively with the vets undertaking disease testing in pigs. 

A disease surveillance program is being implemented by our veterinary team to determine the incidence of Leptospirosis and Brucella. 

Across five programs, 1858 feral pigs were culled between 2018-2020.

Bucellosis & Leptospirosis incidence – Local Land Services (LLS)

Location: Central Tablelands, New South Wales

A disease surveillance program is being implemented by the Central Tablelands Local Land Services veterinary team to determine the incidence of Leptospirosis and Brucella in feral pigs throughout the Central Tablelands Local Land Services region.

Central West

Central West Regional Strategic Pest Animal Management Plan – Local Land Services (LLS)

Location: Central West, New South Wales

Feral pig distribution is widespread in this region. Central West LLS staff engage landholders to fulfil their responsibilities to manage feral pigs, highlighting the productivity impacts caused through disease transmission to stock (as well as to human health). Staff work with landholders to improve how free feeding is undertaken, including the duration of free feeding prior to baiting, to ensure it is effective. 

Pest levy funding has been available since 2018 which supports aerial shooting programs and purchase of traps and cameras for landholders. Landholders are encouraged by Central West LLS to coordinate and run their groups themselves, led by a champion landholder. 

Aerial shooting is performed annually as needed and as per available funding. In 2017, 578 pigs were dispatched over three helicopter flights, with 16,185 pigs dispatched over 25 flights between 2018-20. For this, helicopters can cost ~$1200 per hour, with ammunition at $1-$1.40/shot. Recent aerial shooting work in the Lake Cargelligo area dispatched a total of 300 pigs over 2.5 days at a cost of $30,000 (not including on-costs). 

Riverina LLS supported this work through the involvement of their aerial shooter. Follow up with landholders is encouraged to dispatch any remaining pigs still present in the landscape using other primary methods (e.g. baiting and trapping).

National Feral Pig Action Plan

Far South Coast

NSW National Parks & Wildlife

Location: Far South Coast, New South Wales

Feral pig control activities are conducted by NPWS on national parks and reserves managed by NPWS, with trapping, aerial shooting, ground shooting and baiting used. Around 9% of NSW landmass is managed by NPWS and a pest and weed recording system has been established. A total of 28,684 feral pigs were dispatched from several NSW parks regions 2016-2019; 2,465 by trapping; 24,185 by aerial shooting; and 2,334 by ground shooting. During this time, the South Coast region dispatched a total of 94 feral pigs; 18 by trapping; 172 by aerial shooting, and 4 by ground shooting.

National Feral Pig Action Plan

Far West

NSW National Parks & Wildlife

Location: Far West, New South Wales

Feral pig control activities are conducted by NPWS on national parks and reserves managed by NPWS, with trapping, aerial shooting, ground shooting and baiting used. Around 9% of NSW landmass is managed by NPWS and a pest and weed recording system has been established. A total of 28,684 feral pigs were dispatched from several NSW parks regions 2016-2019; 2,465 by trapping; 24,185 by aerial shooting; and 2,334 by ground shooting. During this time, the Western region dispatched a total of 14,201 feral pigs; 612 by trapping; 11,867 by aerial shooting, and 1,722 by ground shooting.

Greater Sydney

NSW Nation Parks & Wildlife

Location: Greater Sydney, New South Wales

Feral pig control activities are conducted by NPWS on national parks and reserves managed by NPWS, with trapping, aerial shooting,
ground shooting and baiting used. Around 9% of NSW landmass is managed by NPWS and a pest and weed recording system has been established.

A total of 28,684 feral pigs were dispatched from several NSW parks Branches 2016-2019; 2,465 by trapping; 24,185 by aerial shooting; and 2,334 by ground shooting. During this time, no feral pigs were dispatched in the Greater Sydney Branch.

In 2019-20, a total of 6,547 feral pigs were dispatched in NSW: 725 by trapping, 5,661 by aerial shooting, and 161 by ground shooting. In the Greater Sydney Branch specifically in 2019-20, no feral pigs were dispatched in the Greater Sydney Branch.

National Feral Pig Action Plan

Hunter

Hunter Regional Strategic Pest Animal Management Plan – LLS

Location: Hunter, New South Wales

Feral pigs are present across most of the region and land uses, with numbers fluctuating seasonally. Their distribution is limited by past and continuing control efforts, soil types and local resources. Proactive and co-ordinated control of feral pig numbers is the focus of programs being undertaken to address impacts before they become problematic. Hunter LLS co-ordinate and supply baiting products and use of traps to livestock and grain producers. All affected and adjoining landholders are encouraged to fully participate in coordinated programs in their area and affected landholders are required to provide feed for baiting and manage traps on their properties.

Hunter Central Coast

NSW National Parks & Wildlife

Location: Hunter Central Coast Hunter Region, New South Wales

Feral pig control activities are conducted by NPWS on national parks and reserves managed by NPWS, with trapping, aerial shooting,
ground shooting and baiting used. Around 9% of NSW landmass is managed by NPWS and a pest and weed recording system has been established.

A total of 28,684 feral pigs were dispatched from several NSW parks Branches 2016-2019; 2,465 by trapping; 24,185 by aerial shooting; and 2,334 by ground shooting. During this time, the Hunter Central Coast Branch dispatched a total of 307 feral pigs; 267 by trapping; 20 by aerial shooting, and 20 by ground shooting.

In 2019-20, a total of 6,547 feral pigs were dispatched in NSW: 725 by trapping, 5,661 by aerial shooting, and 161 by ground shooting. In the Hunter Central Coast Branch specifically in 2019-20, a total of 90 feral pigs were dispatched: 53 by trapping, and 37 by aerial shooting.

Kanimbla

Living on the Edge – Local Land Services (LLS)

Location: Central Tablelands, Kanimbla, New South Wales

The five year ‘Living on the Edge’’ project commenced in 2018 and is addressing key threatening processes affecting the Blue Mountains World Heritage Area.

It is being supported by the Australian Government’s National Landcare Regional Land Partnership, National Parks and Wildlife Service, Greater Sydney LLS, Central Tablelands LLS and Upper Macquarie County Council. Pig programs are in place in Capatee Valley, Kanimbla Valley, Megalong Valley, Jenolan, and Tuglow and Hollanders River catchment. Local private landholders are collaborating in this program and data on economic (eg. livestock disease and predation, crop and pasture damage) and environmental (e.g. water assets, erosion) impacts of feral pigs is being obtained to better quantify these losses. 

The key targets of ‘Living on the Edge’ program are that by 2023:

1) Activity levels of priority invasive animals (fox, feral pig and wild dog) will be contained to baseline levels established in 2018/19 across 9,100 hectares within priority areas contributing to the protection of the outstanding values of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area (WHA).

2) Threats from priority invasive plants will have decreased through a reduction of weed cover by 70% and an increase in native species across approximately 460 hectares within priority areas contributing to the protection of the outstanding values of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area.

3) Community awareness of threats to outstanding universal values from invasive plants and animals will increase by 50% from baseline levels across all priority areas, supporting the need for priority protection actions.

4) Community action to manage threats to outstanding universal values from invasive plants and animals will have increased by 25% from baseline monitoring levels across all priority areas.

National Feral Pig Action Plan

Lower North Coast

NSW National Parks & Wildlife

Location: Lower North Coast, New South Wales

Feral pig control activities are conducted by NPWS on national parks and reserves managed by NPWS, with trapping, aerial shooting, ground shooting and baiting used. Around 9% of NSW landmass is managed by NPWS and a pest and weed recording system has been established. A total of 28,684 feral pigs were dispatched from several NSW parks regions 2016-2019; 2,465 by trapping; 24,185 by aerial shooting; and 2,334 by ground shooting. During this time, the North Coast region dispatched a total of 52 feral pigs; 51 by trapping; and 1 by ground shooting.

National Feral Pig Action Plan

Metropolitan North East

NSW National Parks & Wildlife

Location: Metropolitan North East, New South Wales

Feral pig control activities are conducted by NPWS on national parks and reserves managed by NPWS, with trapping, aerial shooting, ground shooting and baiting used. Around 9% of NSW landmass is managed by NPWS and a pest and weed recording system has been established. A total of 28,684 feral pigs were dispatched from several NSW parks regions 2016-2019; 2,465 by trapping; 24,185 by aerial shooting; and 2,334 by ground shooting. During this time, no feral pigs were dispatched in the Greater Sydney region.

National Feral Pig Action Plan

Metropolitan South West

NSW National Parks & Wildlife

Location: Metropolitan South West, New South Wales

Feral pig control activities are conducted by NPWS on national parks and reserves managed by NPWS, with trapping, aerial shooting, ground shooting and baiting used. Around 9% of NSW landmass is managed by NPWS and a pest and weed recording system has been established. A total of 28,684 feral pigs were dispatched from several NSW parks regions 2016-2019; 2,465 by trapping; 24,185 by aerial shooting; and 2,334 by ground shooting. During this time, no feral pigs were dispatched in the Greater Sydney region.

Murray

Murray Regional Strategic Pest Animal Management Plan – Murray Local Land Services (LLS)

Location: Murray, New South Wales

Foxes, wild dogs, feral pigs and rabbits are the major pest species that are being managed in the Murray region. General vertebrate pest activities are focussed on key areas (i.e. riparian areas and rugged hills) to maximise use of available resources. Murray Local Land Services (MLLS) has implemented targeted feral pig programs to minimise the impacts of feral pigs. The Billabong Creek feral pig control program is an annual 1080 bait station program covering over 400,000 ha of feral pig habitat.

Other feral pig programs conducted by MLLS are joint monitoring/control programs involving the National Parks and Wildlife Service and Forests NSW in areas east of Holbrook and along the Murray river red gum forest areas. MLLS is also an active participant in the Western Riverina Pig Project in support of Riverina LLS and Western LLS.

MLLS focuses on co-ordinating landholders to undertake trapping and 1080 baiting programs for feral pig control primarily in its eastern and far western areas. These activities are generally driven by local landholders.

North Coast

North Coast Regional Strategic Pest Animal Plan – Local Land Services (LLS)

Location: North Coast, New South Wales

Asset protection of agricultural, ecological and indigenous protected areas is the goal of the North Coast LLS Strategic Pest Management Plan. Feral pigs occur sporadically across the region and in small group sizes (5-30 pigs per mob). They are present mainly in areas with suitable habitat including swamp/wetlands and river systems – coastal areas, national parks and state forests as well as in cane growing areas. Cane growers largely manage feral pigs themselves. 

Challenges with access to affected terrain create difficulties with implementing control methods. Traps are available on loan to landholders and reports of sightings and impacts to Local Land Services Invasive Pests team Biosecurity Officers and FeralPigScan is encouraged. There are many small landholders in this region, so it is important that landholders come together and work as a group to obtain effective control. The use of 1080 is not widely used due to the high number of small, lifestyle land holders and risks of secondary poisoning of working dogs. Some landholders are evaluating the effectiveness of HOGGONE® in their control programs; early success has been observed. In this region, aerial shooting is conducted by NPWS. 

Issues with illegal hunting are not widely experienced by private landholders – it is a greater problem for managers of national parks and state forests. Funding from the Australian Government’s Wildlife and Bushfire Recovery Program are being directed to reducing the impact of vertebrate pests, including wild dogs, deer and feral pigs, moving on to local farmland following summer bushfires in 2020. 

Feral pigs impacts on the North Coast are mainly environmental as they cause damage to pastures, dams, waterways, swamplands etc and directly predate on many native species found in these areas. This funding is being used for feral pigs to purchase HOGGONE® bait boxes and baits to increase adoption of this new baiting method. Facilitation of landholder groups is a key activity of North Coast LLS biosecurity The program will provide all materials, support and training to landholders at no cost and provides the opportunity for landholders to be involved in a large scale feral pig control program.

NSW National Parks & Wildlife

Location: North Coast, New South Wales

Feral pig control activities are conducted by NPWS on national parks and reserves managed by NPWS, with trapping, aerial shooting,
ground shooting and baiting used. Around 9% of NSW landmass is managed by NPWS and a pest and weed recording system has been established.

A total of 28,684 feral pigs were dispatched from several NSW parks Branches 2016-2019; 2,465 by trapping; 24,185 by aerial shooting; and 2,334 by ground shooting. During this time, the North Coast Branch dispatched a total of 52 feral pigs; 51 by trapping; and 1 by ground shooting.

In 2019-20, a total of 6,547 feral pigs were dispatched in NSW: 725 by trapping, 5,661 by aerial shooting, and 161 by ground shooting. In the North Coast Branch specifically in 2019-20, a total of 37 feral pigs were dispatched by aerial shooting.

North West

North West Regional Strategic Pest Animal Management Plan – Local Land Services (LLS)

Location: North West, New South Wales

Feral pigs are widespread, abundant and cause significant damage to environmental assets, livestock and crop production, Ramsar wetlands, threatened species and ecological communities. A range of programs are run through North West LLS to meet key performance indicators as detailed in the Strategic Pest Animal Management Plan for this region. 

Feral pig control programs need to be coordinated, broad scale and integrated to achieve the required knockdown to be effective. Group baiting programs are supported and encouraged by North West LLS with group meetings and bait preparation events held at a location central to the Landholder group. 

North West LLS biosecurity staff undertake individual property inspections to provide advice and recommendations to landholders on control methods and placement locations of free feeding locations to support baiting or trapping activities. Feral pig traps and monitoring cameras are available for free hire by landholders. North West LLS have been providing free grain to landholders who have met required regulatory conditions for management and handling of 1080 treated bait.
Ongoing awareness programs include seasonal newsletter content, media releases, field day attendance and social media schedules of ‘Feral Fact Friday’.

HOGGONE is being trialled by biosecurity staff in conjunction with landholders to demonstrate its use and develop a better understanding of the product to share with landholders. North West LLS regularly collaborate with NPWS as a stakeholder in pest animal control programs across the region.
North West LLS have conducted an economic impact study through AgEcon, a local consulting company, to provide information on production losses to a variety of agricultural enterprises from feral pigs in the region and undertake a cost-benefit analysis. There will be biannual landholder surveys to evaluate the actual cost of feral pigs on production enterprises over the next three years. This will build a strong picture of feral pig impacts across the region and promote improved control programs.

A regional monitoring program has been established to obtain more granular data on population density and distributions of feral pigs and other vertebrate pest species to generate maps to track trends over time.

Northern Inland

NSW National Parks & Wildlife

Location: Northern Inland, New South Wales

Feral pig control activities are conducted by NPWS on national parks and reserves managed by NPWS, with trapping, aerial shooting,
ground shooting and baiting used. Around 9% of NSW landmass is managed by NPWS and a pest and weed recording system has been established.

A total of 28,684 feral pigs were dispatched from several NSW parks Branches 2016-2019; 2,465 by trapping; 24,185 by aerial shooting; and 2,334 by ground shooting. During this time, the Northern Inland Branch dispatched a total of 12,814 feral pigs; 1,211 by trapping; 11,444 by aerial shooting, and 159 by ground shooting.

In 2019-20, a total of 6,547 feral pigs were dispatched in NSW: 725 by trapping, 5,661 by aerial shooting, and 161 by ground shooting. In the Northern Inland Branch specifically in 2019-20, a total of 4,966 feral pigs were dispatched: 319 by trapping, 4,514 by aerial shooting, and 133 by ground shooting.

Northern Tablelands

Northern Tablelands Regional Strategic Pest Animal Plan – LLS

Location: Northern Tablelands, New South Wales

Feral pig populations are becoming increasingly common and more dense, particularly in the west and south of the region. The Strategic Pest Management Plan for the region recognises the challenges in gaining full community participation in control activities, the need for information on species distribution and movements to support the planning of more strategic control programs.

National Feral Pig Action Plan

Orange

Revised Standard Operating Procedures for HOGGONE

Location: Orange, New South Wales

Standard operating procedures for HOGGONE® use are currently being prepared by the Vertebrate Pest Research Unit, DPI NSW. Once completed, these will be made available via the PestSmart website (www.pestsmart.org.au).

Riverina

Western Riverina Pig Project 2016-2019 (continuing as Western Riverina Pest Project 2020) – Local Land Services (LLS)

Location: Riverina, New South Wales

The Western Riverina Pig Project 2016-2019 (renamed to Western Riverina Pest Project from 2020 onwards) was initiated in response to NSW Farmers’ raising landholder concerns about feral pig impacts in the region. This coordinated, strategic, large-scale project was a joint program by Riverina, Murray and Western Local Land Services, National Parks and Wildlife Service, Department of Primary Industries, Biodiversity & Conservation unit of the Department of Planning Industry & Environment and private land managers. Funding was also obtained from the Commonwealth to support this project.

The activities undertaken, including coordinated group programs and preparation and implementation of local pig management plans, were in accordance with the Riverina, Western and Murray LLS regional strategic pest animal management plans 2018- 2023. Over four years of the program, an annual aerial survey using helicopters fitted with infrared cameras was completed to determine feral pig density . A baseline population was established to enable the effectiveness of control activities on the pig population over time to be evaluated. 

The program was conducted across 1.3 million hectares, involving 147 holdings, which were divided into three zones based on low, medium and high priority. The data obtained from the survey attracted additional funding and more landholders became involved. Population growth rates were calculated to be 2.77 in 2017 following a flood event in 2016. Over the duration of the project, a total of 34,519 feral pigs were dispatched. The density of pigs was reduced from 11.6 pigs/km2 at the start of the program to 0.6 pigs/km2 at its conclusion. 

With the feral pig population in the region now reduced to a manageable level, the Western Riverina Pest Project is now focussed on capacity building of land managers to carry out regular on-ground primary control in coordination with neighbouring properties. Land managers have access to an expert pest control contractor to guide the implementation of a sustainable, integrated program, train landholders and monitor feral pig activity. Riverina LLS remain vigilant in monitoring non-compliant land managers posing a threat to the success of the program.

South Coast

NSW National Parks & Wildlife

Location: South Coast, New South Wales

Feral pig control activities are conducted by NPWS on national parks and reserves managed by NPWS, with trapping, aerial shooting,
ground shooting and baiting used. Around 9% of NSW landmass is managed by NPWS and a pest and weed recording system has been established.

A total of 28,684 feral pigs were dispatched from several NSW parks Branches 2016-2019; 2,465 by trapping; 24,185 by aerial shooting; and 2,334 by ground shooting. During this time, the South Coast Branch dispatched a total of 94 feral pigs; 18 by trapping; 172 by aerial shooting, and 4 by ground shooting.

In 2019-20, a total of 6,547 feral pigs were dispatched in NSW: 725 by trapping, 5,661 by aerial shooting, and 161 by ground shooting. In the South Coast Branch specifically in 2019-20, a total of 81 feral pigs were dispatched: 1 by trapping, and 80 by aerial shooting.

South East

South East Regional Strategic Pest Animal Plan – Local Land Services (LLS)

Location: South East, New South Wales

The South East LLS region, stretching from Helensburgh to the Victorian border and encompassing the Monaro, Southern Tablelands and Southern Highlands, features many different land use types: small holdings, large holdings and alpine regions, with approximately 40% of the region being public land.

Pest management in the South East is a shared responsibility. Government, Industry and community work together, adopting a nil-tenure approach, to eradicate, contain or manage pest animals in terrestrial and freshwater aquatic environments across the region. Feral pigs are a priority pest under the South East Regional Strategic Pest Animal Management Plan.

Grain baiting with 1080 (wheat/ barley) and trapping are the main techniques used for feral pig control by landholders, with aerial shooting used in inaccessible areas. Traps are lent out and landholders are also encouraged to report feral pig sightings to South East Local Land Services and to FeralScan. Community engagement at field days is conducted to support the use of FeralScan by landholders.

There are a number of programs underway across the region, with participation being highest in areas where feral pigs are more active (Tallong and Bigga) and there are impacts on productivity.

The Yass and Boorowa areas have an on-going program which has been recently enhanced with new technology including cameras that notify landholders of pig activity in real time. There is an ongoing collaring and monitoring program underway in the Queanbeyan/Palerang area. Participation in coordinated pest management groups by landholders is more active (in Tallong area and Bigga) where impacts are being experienced (e.g. lambing issues). Landholders are experiencing issues with feral pigs, particularly in areas that were not affected by December-January 2020 bushfires. NPWS have done aerial culls over bushfire affected regions, with GPS data also being collected on every animal observed and dispatched.

Southern Ranges

NSW National Parks & Wildlife

Location: Southern Ranges, New South Wales

Feral pig control activities are conducted by NPWS on national parks and reserves managed by NPWS, with trapping, aerial shooting,
ground shooting and baiting used. Around 9% of NSW landmass is managed by NPWS and a pest and weed recording system has been established.

A total of 28,684 feral pigs were dispatched from several NSW parks Branches 2016-2019; 2,465 by trapping; 24,185 by aerial shooting; and 2,334 by ground shooting. During this time, the Southern Ranges Branch dispatched a total of 1,066 feral pigs; 291 by trapping; 587 by aerial shooting, and 188 by ground shooting.

In 2019-20, a total of 6,547 feral pigs were dispatched in NSW: 725 by trapping, 5,661 by aerial shooting, and 161 by ground shooting. In the Southern Ranges Branch specifically in 2019-20, a total of 217 feral pigs were dispatched: 76 by trapping, 121 by aerial shooting, and 20 by ground shooting.

Sydney

Health and welfare of pig hunting dogs – University of Sydney

Location: Sydney, New South Wales

Dr. Bronwyn Orr is undertaking her PhD at the University of Sydney to investigate the health and welfare of dogs used in pig hunting in Australia. A literature review to identify the health and welfare risks faced by pig hunting dogs used by recreational and commercial hunters has been completed (Orr et al. 2019). A paper which highlights the increased risk pig hunting dogs face for canine heartworm disease has also been published (Orr et al. 2020). Further research on the impact of leptospirosis and brucellosis on pig hunting dogs will be released in 2021.

Brucellosis & Leptospirosis Incidence – LLS

Location: Sydney/Central Tablelands, New South Wales

N/A

Wagga Wagga

Monitoring Feral Pigs – Charles Sturt University

Location: Wagga Wagga, New South Wales

Charles Sturt University are conducting a camera-trap project to investigate the feasibility of compartmentalisation (in the terms of the OIE) of domestic and feral pigs. A risk assessment tool for use by industry to evaluate the probability of feral pig incursions onto a property is being developed. Camera-traps are being used to validate the risk assessment tool. A proof of freedom of risk survey is to be conducted to confirm ecologists’ and producer’ opinions of feral pig activity around properties and their surrounding areas. This work will build on a scoping review of the spread of ASF between feral and domestic pigs globally.

Transboundary Risk – Charles Sturt University

Location: Wagga Wagga, New South Wales

A new project will commence in 2021 investigating transboundary risk to Australia and this will align with teams at Biosecurity Queensland, NSW Department of Primary Industries and ABARES.

Supporting Australia’s Preparedness for African Swine Fever – Charles Sturt University

Location: Wagga Wagga, New South Wales

Charles Sturt University are calling for expressions of interest for a government funded PhD position to an interested candidate to work on compartmentalisation. This project will investigate risk pathways for ASF spread in Australia to develop biosecurity strategies to protect the Australian domestic pig industry. Understanding how disease could spread in feral pigs and the subsequent risks to domestic pigs is important to develop strategies to protect the domestic pig industry. 

The project will be based at Charles Sturt University (Wagga Wagga), and will require skill development in data collection, risk assessment, disease spread modelling techniques and epidemiologic methods, as well an understanding of biosecurity. 

West

NSW National Parks & Wildlife

Location: West, New South Wales

Feral pig control activities are conducted by NPWS on national parks and reserves managed by NPWS, with trapping, aerial shooting,
ground shooting and baiting used. Around 9% of NSW landmass is managed by NPWS and a pest and weed recording system has been established.

A total of 28,684 feral pigs were dispatched from several NSW parks Branches 2016-2019; 2,465 by trapping; 24,185 by aerial shooting; and 2,334 by ground shooting. During this time, the West Branch dispatched a total of 14,201 feral pigs; 612 by trapping; 11,867 by aerial shooting, and 1,722 by ground shooting.

In 2019-20, a total of 6,547 feral pigs were dispatched in NSW: 725 by trapping, 5,661 by aerial shooting, and 161 by ground shooting. In the West Branch specifically in 2019-20, a total of 842 feral pigs were dispatched: 73 by trapping, 761 by aerial shooting, and 8 by ground shooting.

Western

Western Regional Strategic Pest Animal Management Plan – Local Land Services (LLS)

Location: Western, New South Wales

Western LLS facilitate baiting and trapping programs and actively encourage landholders to join groups to control vertebrate pests. In 2019/20, seventeen pest animal/Landcare groups were being co-ordinated mainly in the top half of the Western region. Two of these seventeen groups target feral pigs while the remainder target wild dogs with the possibility of also targeting feral pigs soon.  An integrated management approach is actively encouraged, with trapping / baiting promoted as primary control techniques with aerial shooting in high population or inaccessible areas. The upcoming Western Pig Program will coordinate baiting and trapping during the dry summer months focusing on water points.  The Cuttaburra Basin along Paroo River is a major haven for pigs. In the south east the Murrumbidgee and Lachlan Rivers, a large wetland area forms part of the Western Riverina Pest Program focussing on feral pigs. 

Western LLS were involved in work to obtain permits from the APVMA to use 1080 meat baits for pigs. A cluster fence has been installed west of Condobolin and baiting and aerial shooting is being used to eradicate pigs within the fence. A joint program between NSW DPI Vertebrate Pest Research Unit involves collaring of 30 pigs and 30 dogs around the Cuttaburra area, NSW and 20 pigs and 20 dogs in Southern Queensland; 30 pigs are already collared while wild dog collaring begins in March 2021. 

This ‘Western Tracks’ collaring project is being funded by the Commonwealth Government’s ‘’Communities Combatting Pest and Weed Impacts during drought’’ program. This project is reliant on landholders granting access to their property by professional pest controllers to carry out trapping for collaring and release of wild dogs and feral pigs.