National Feral Pig Action Plan

Western Australia

Find out more about feral pigs projects taking place across Western Australia.

This is a dynamic Hub. It will be continually updated to include additional programs and to ensure that its content is current.
If your program is not listed and you would like it to be placed on the Hub, or you would like to provide an update on your program, please Contact Us.

Please note: authorisation of content for a program is obtained prior to its inclusion into the Hub.

  • Indigenous Group
  • Hunting Organisation
  • State Government
  • Local Government
  • Industry
  • Landholder Group
  • Federal Government
  • Research
  • Conservation and Biodiversity
  • RBG (Recognised Biosecurity Group)

National Feral Pig Action Plan

Carnarvon

Carnarvon Rangelands Biosecurity Association Inc

Location: Carnarvon, Western Australia

N/A

Central Wheatbelt

Central Wheatbelt Regional Biosecurity Group

Location: Morawa, Western Australia

The Central Wheatbelt Biosecurity Association Inc. (CWBA) encompasses an area of 21,901 km2 across the Koorda, Perenjori, Dalwallinu and Morawa regions of WA. The CWBA encourages landholder and Shire involvement in coordinated broad scale management of feral pest species. Their programs target wild dogs, foxes, rabbits and feral pigs as well as other declared pests, as prioritised by the CWBA. Licenced Pest Management Technicians contracted by CWBA work on affected farms, pastoral land and crown lands to assist landholders to conduct a range of control and monitoring activities. CWBA runs bait rack days to produce free 1080 meat baits for landholders, as well as fund free rabbit and feral pig bait mixing days. Aerial shooting of feral pigs was undertaken in 2018 and 2019, which engaged landholders and enabled surveillance on location and population estimates. In 2020, a landholder survey was conducted through the Mingenew Irwin Group to gather population estimates.

National Feral Pig Action Plan

Dandaragan

West Midlands Group

Location: Dandaragan, Western Australia

N/A

National Feral Pig Action Plan

Esperance

Esperance Biosecurity Association

Location: Esperance, Western Australia

N/A

Geraldton

Northern Biosecurity Group Inc Operational Plan

Location: Geraldton, Western Australia

The Northern Biosecurity Group (NBG) covers the Shires of Chapman Valley, Northampton, and and was established in 2017. The group is working proactively across the region to facilitate and coordinate declared pest management, working closely with local landholders, Licensed Pest Management Technicians and government departments. The group currently prioritises control of wild dogs, feral pigs and opuntioid cacti. In December 2019, the WA state government, through its Natural Resource Management grant program funded feral pig projects. A funding grant was awarded to the Northern Biosecurity Group, Northampton ($201,710) to support monitoring, trapping and shooting programs. This project aims to encourage landholder involvement in feral pig management. and will pig distribution, seasonal variability and effectiveness of control efforts will be monitored using a trapping camera network and GPS tracking collars. In 2020/21, declared pest rate funds will be used to support an aerial shooting program as well as 1080 baiting. In 2018/19, over 2658 kg of feral pig bait was mixed for 37 landholders and between 2018-2020, feral pig workshops have attracted over 300 people, with workshops held in Northampton, Greenough, Chapman Valley and Mullewa. Aerial shooting has been undertaken over the last three years, with a total of 2918 pigs dispatched. In conjunction with the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development WA, has been monitoring feral pig activity within the core aerial control zone (Northampton) for the last 3 years (2018-2020). Feral pig activity has been observed to decrease by 81% from 2018-2019, and to decrease a further 76% from 2019 to 2020. This has been attributed to ongoing trapping and baiting efforts conducted by landholders and LPMTs throughout the year in addition to the aerial culling. Another aerial culling program is scheduled for 2021.

National Feral Pig Action Plan

Gingin

Westpork

Location: Gingin, Western Australia

In response to the ongoing threat of African swine fever entering Australia’s domestic pig herd, Westpork and CM Farms initiated a feral pig trapping program in the Gingin / Lake Mogumber region in Western Australia in October 2019. Westpork and CM Farms are jointly investing in their feral pig control program and funding two experienced trappers. Sheep, cattle and grain producers are collaborating in this activity, providing both property access to trappers and grain to attract feral pigs into the traps fitted with cameras and remotely operated gates.  Local knowledge of food and water sources and sightings by landholders involved is being utilised to determine sites for trap locations. Over 150 pigs have been trapped following free feeding with grain, dispatched and buried on site. This program highlights that strong local landholder engagement, support and commitment is needed to address risks posed by feral pigs at the local level and to monitor their impacts. Westpork and CM Farms are wanting to gain support from pork producers, and other landholders, for feral pig management in pig production areas in Western Australia.  They are also proactively engaging with other groups to learn from their approaches. 

Kimberley

Australian Wildlife Conservancy

Location: Kimberley, Western Australia

In the Kimberley, feral pigs are continuing to expand into areas of suitable habitat in the Kimberley and travel for relatively large distances across inhospitable rocky country to access favoured habitat and set up new populations in those areas. Research was conducted by the AWC, with funding from the Kimberley Rangelands Biosecurity Association (KRBA), to investigate the movements of feral pigs and to trial the use of automated feeders for delivery of 1080 bait for pig control in the Kimberley. The research was conducted in 2017-19 on a number of pastoral properties in the central and western Kimberley including Doongan, Charnley River, Mt House, Glenroy and Mornington. Data collected from GPS-collared pigs identified movement patterns of pigs in the central and western Kimberley and modelling showed that potentially suitable habitat for feral pigs is much larger than the area currently occupied.

Kimberley Feral Pig Control Project – Australian Wildlife Conversvancy

Location: Kimberley, Western Australia

Research was conducted in 2017-19 by the Australian Wildlife Conservatory (AWC), funded by the Kimberley Rangelands Biosecurity Association (KRBA) to investigate the movements of feral pigs and to trial the use of automated feeders for pig control in the Kimberley. It was conducted on several pastoral properties in the central and western Kimberley including Doongan, Charnley River, Mt House, Glenroy and Mornington.

Kimberley Land Council

Location: Kimberley, Western Australia

The Kimberley Land Council was formed to administer native title claims, work which is now largely completed. The Council oversees around two thirds of indigenous groups in the Kimberley region, with the remainder now independent except two that are managed by DBCA. The Kimberley Land Council does not consider feral pigs to be a high priority issue, reflecting their low populations and localised impacts resulting from their activities. A regional position for feral animal management is currently not in place but is an area of interest. Ranger teams operate to 10-year Healthy Country Plans that have been set up through community consultations to develop conservation and management priorities, including fire management, feral animal management, landscape and seascape health, cultural health and management of traditional lands to ensure its ongoing health. The indigenous ranger network is well positioned to undertake control and surveillance work and have exclusive access to native title lands, but more support is needed to ensure the delivery of good programs.

Kimberley Rangelands Biosecurity Association

Location: Kimberley, Western Australia

The Kimberley Rangelands Biosecurity Association is a Recognised Biosecurity Group that operates across the Shires of Wyndham East Kimberley, Halls Creek, Broome and Derby West Kimberley. Pigs are a widespread vertebrate pest species but not currently considered as significant a pest species as donkeys and wild dogs according to pastoral land managers. As a consequence no funding is currently allocated to feral pig management by the KRBA. Feral pigs are emerging to be of concern in the North Kimberley region, their population appears to be expanding and may cause significant impact in some locations if the population is not managed appropriately.

Kununurra

North Kimberley Land Conservation District Committee

Location: Northern Kimberley, Western Australia

The North Kimberley LCDC is a statutory body formed under section 23 of the Soil and Land Conservation Act 1945. It is made up of a diverse range of land managers from the north Kimberley including pastoralists, indigenous rangers, government representatives, NGOs and other community members. The North Kimberley LCDC is working to promote and implement cost-effective, best practice feral pig control techniques suitable for use in remote areas and to increase the capacity and capability of people in the North Kimberley to strategically use best practice management practices to effectively control feral pigs.

Lake Muir, Denbarker, Rocky Gully & Northcliffe

Lake Muir-Denbarker Community Feral Pig Eradication Group

Location: Lake Muir & Northcliffe, Western Australia

The Lake Muir Denbarker Community Feral Pig Eradication Group, an unincorporated group formed in 2001, works across the Shires of Plantagenet, Manjimup, Denmark and Cranbrook. The group aimed to facilitate the involvement of all landholders in the Lake Muir and Denbarker areas in contributing to the initial reduction of the feral pig population and the subsequent maintenance of low pig densities. In 2010, the Group extended their trapping services to the Northcliffe Declared Species Group, and a joint management committee for the Lake Muir Denbarker and Northcliffe project areas was formed in October 2016. Trained and experienced field operators are employed by the group to provide surveillance and control, across private property and agreed areas of DBCA managed estate. 

Trapping is the preferred control method used. Advancements in camera and remote sensing technology along with improved mobile service coverage have helped improve surveillance efforts. Baiting with 1080 is not conducted due to the regulatory processes in place and the need for involvement of a licenced pest management technician (LMPT) but the group is currently working to trial HOGGONE®. Detection dogs are used as a secondary method to clean up/mop up remaining pigs that avoid traps.. Funding is sourced from grants, partner organisations, relevant government departments, local Shires, and landholders, including private companies. 

Funding from, and on behalf of, local landholders has allowed the leveraging of dollar-for-dollar funding from the National Landcare Program and the State NRM grants program. Over the past few years, there has been a reduction in grant funding for feral pig control which has impacted on the amount of on groundwork undertaken in both the Lake Muir Denbarker and Northcliffe areas. The sustained effort of the group over the past 20 years means that many landholders have never experienced feral pig incursions, such that feral pigs are not rated as a high threat or priority for attention. Without ongoing attention, progress made over the past twenty years with the removal of feral pigs will be lost as the remnant population increases and spreads. 

The drive to establish Recognised Biosecurity Groups (RBG’s) to coordinate pest management in the south of WA is likely to lead to some changes in the operation of the Group and members are actively engaged in steering committees looking to establish RBG’s in the project area. Over the past 18 years, a total of 2700 pigs have been dispatched, with 2500 days of pig control work undertaken since 2007. Information is lacking on level/impact of damage created by feral pigs – hence only data available is numbers trapped and dispatched. Strong relationships have been forged with DBCA, DPIRD, local government, NRM organisations and local landholders. 

The group has also contributed to research projects including the trial of thermal imaging to detect feral pigs in the southern jarrah forests, research into feral pig diet, and initiatives such as the development of the voluntary code of practice for feral pig control used in south-west WA, the development of an accredited training course for field operators and the formation of the Southern Feral Pig Advisory Group (now in hiatus). In December 2019, the WA state government, through its Natural Resource Management grant program funded a number of feral pig projects to support monitoring, trapping and shooting programs. 

The Lake Muir Denbarker Community Feral Pig Eradication Group received $34,000 to support the 2020 control program in the Lake Muir, Denbarker and Northcliffe project areas, aiming to protect agricultural enterprises and reduce the impact of feral pigs on the natural environment.

National Feral Pig Action Plan

Leschenault

Leschenault Biosecurity Group Inc

Location: Leschenault, Western Australia

N/A

National Feral Pig Action Plan

Lower Blackwood

Lower Blackwood Regional Biosecurity Group

Location: Lower Blackwood, Western Australia

The Lower Blackwood LCDC covers 610,000 ha in south west WA and operates over two councils, who also provide funding support to the group. Feral pigs are a significant issue for land managers, particularly in agricultural areas. The Lower Blackwood Vertebrate Pest Management Group’s committee involves landholders, local councils, DPIRD and DBCA representatives. The region encompasses a large amount of public land which presents challenges for feral pig management. In 2012-13, the population was estimated at ~13,000 feral pigs in the region and this is considered to have increased. Traps are placed onto private land that borders public land by government. Three field officers work on a part time basis all year round to minimise feral pig damage on agricultural lands. The Committee is working to develop a strategy to ensure how funds received are best employed to manage feral pigs. In December 2019, funding of $33,650 was received from WA Government to reduce the feral pig population in the Lower Blackwood region, with mapping, data collection and monitoring activities to be conducted to support further strategic management. This project will support field officers to work across the area to help reduce local populations and population monitoring, mapping, and data collection will be conducted to support further strategic management.

Midlands

Midlands Biosecurity Group

Location: Midlands, Western Australia

The Midlands Biosecurity Group (MBG) was incorporated in June 2019 and covers the shires of Moora, Dandaragan, Coorow, Carnamah, Three Springs, Mingenew and Irwin. The group was established in response to concerns from local farmers about the impact of wild dogs, foxes, feral pigs and rabbits and the need for a more coordinated response. All funding is currently focussed on getting Midlands RBG started and commencing work with wild dogs. Landholders in the area commonly use 1080 grain baiting as the main control method. Feral pigs are damaging crops and impacting on the environment, but the extent of this damage has not been assessed. About 25% of the Midlands RBG area is public land/national parks.

National Feral Pig Action Plan

Mingenew

Mingenew Irwin Group

Location: Mingenew, Western Australia

The Midlands Biosecurity Group (MBG) was incorporated in June 2019 and covers the shires of Moora, Dandaragan, Coorow, Carnamah, Three Springs, Mingenew and Irwin. The group was established in response to concerns from local farmers about the impact of wild dogs, foxes, feral pigs and rabbits and the need for a more coordinated response.. The MBG is funded through declared pest rate contributions from farmers which are matched by the WA state government. In 2020/21 the MBG will contribute around 1/3 of its budget towards Feral Pig management. Landholders in the area commonly use 1080 grain baiting as the main control method. Feral pigs are damaging crops and impacting on the environment, but the extent of this damage has not been assessed. About 25% of the Midlands RBG area is public land/national parks.

National Feral Pig Action Plan

North West

NAQS (Northern Australia Quarantine Strategy)

Location: Kimberley, Western Australia

NAQS’s activities in north western WA are focused on proof of freedom of diseases exotic to Australia and field surveys are undertaken to support this. The feral pig population in the Kimberley region is of relatively low density, therefore field surveys are conducted at lower frequency (every 3-5 years). Feral pig populations are not generally located along the remote and rugged coastline, except for near Broome, Derby and Wyndham. In the Kimberley, disease surveillance activities of NAQS are effective engagement tools to create public awareness with indigenous rangers and pastoralists to discuss feral pig populations and distribution as well as provide training to undertake post-mortems of pigs. NAQS have 16 contracts in place with indigenous communities across the Kimberley (with 12-13 of these having feral pigs present in their country). Some rangers have been trained as biosecurity specialists and undertake post-mortem inspections on NAQS’ behalf. Feral pigs in the Kimberley region are very healthy (not afflicted with parasites or leptospirosis) and are not transmitting disease. NAQS engages with these communities to discuss the signs of African swine fever and what to look out for (e.g. decline in pig numbers), take photos/video footage and provide reports (including GPS locations) of anything unusual that is observed. Public awareness sessions about not swill feeding feral pigs and be aware of risks of swill feeding is also conducted.

Peel Harvey

Peel Harvey Regional Biosecurity Group

Location: Peel Harvey, Western Australia

The Peel Harvey Biosecurity Group (PHBG) is a not for profit organisation run by community representatives. It aims to reduce the impact of priority pests to a minimal or locally acceptable level. Feral pigs are high on the agenda with damage to high value crops, pastures and conservation areas reported in the region.

In 2018, the PHBG was recognised by the Minister for Agriculture and Food under the Biosecurity and Agriculture Management Act 2007. This has facilitated the establishment of a declared pest rate, charged to landholders and matched by the WA State Government. The rate became available in 2019 and will be charged annually.

For feral pig control, the rate has enabled the PHBG to:

  • Purchase monitoring cameras and cage traps for landholders to loan free of charge.
  • Fully subsidise the cost of 1080 baiting (permits and baits) for eligible landholders.
  • Assist accredited volunteers with the trapping programs they run on private landholdings.
    establish a trial of new technology using remotely operated traps, with the hope that volunteer hours dedicated to physically checking traps can be reduced. 
  • Bring key landholders (both private and public) together to improve coordination of control efforts. 
  • Connect with government departments, research institutions and private business to find ways to more effectively monitor and record feral pig activity. 
  • Seek training opportunities to build local knowledge and skills to control feral pigs.

The PHBG is keen to gather information from its landholders on their personal experiences with feral pigs to better understand seasonal movements, level of damage and control measures that have either worked or failed. It is also eager to connect with landholders who are willing to work with their neighbours and the PHBG to target feral pig hotspots.

Peel Harvey Catchment Council

Location: Mandura, Peel Harvey, Western Australia

The Peel Harvey Catchment Council is a not-for-profit community based Natural Resource Management (NRM) organisation and was recognised as an NRM region by the Commonwealth in 2014. The Council operates across more than 1.1 million hectares south of Perth, extending from the Peel-Harvey estuary at Mandurah into the Hopkins and Williams river catchments across sixteen local government areas.

Pilbara

Pilbara Regional Biosecurity Group

Location: Pilbara, Western Australia

Control programs are in place for wild dogs, feral donkeys, camels and horses, but feral pigs are not prioritised due to a limited operating budget/lack of ongoing funding to commit to an effective control program. However, feral pigs have become more of an issue over the past two years along the De Grey River. The population of feral pigs is estimated to be around 300, spread along the De Grey River. This river system runs east from about 120 kms north of Port Hedland, with tributaries into it that extend to around 400 km in total. Several pastoral stations are experiencing issues with feral pigs, with water quality and culturally important sites (including middens) being impacted.

National Feral Pig Action Plan

South Perth

DPIRD (Department of Primary Industry and Regional Development)

Location: South Perth, Western Australia

A new project, entitled Automated thermal imagery analysis platform for multiple pest species being led by DPIRD WA, and funded through the Centre for Invasive Species Solutions, will build on a previous AI model that was developed to analyse thermal imaging data and differentiate between multiple target species and their location in the landscape. As the accuracy of the system is dependent upon the footage quality obtained from thermal cameras, it will utilise low resolution/quality data to ensure that the model is useful to as many landholders as possible. Demonstrations will be conducted on control sites where different densities of feral pigs are present.

National Feral Pig Action Plan

Woodanilling

Wagin Woodanilling Landcare Zone

Location: Woodanilling, Western Australia

The Wagin/Woodanilling Landcare Zone was formed in 1999 and maintains a close relationship with the Blackwood Basin Group, which coordinates local priorities into a regional strategy and attracts financial and technical support. In December 2019, a $27,372 WA Natural Resource Management grant was awarded to the Wagin Woodanilling Landcare Zone. Land managers will be supported to develop the skills needed to effectively target pig populations, identify where the pigs are, monitor populations and assist with management strategies.