Preparing for Reset Landscape-scale Predator Management – Prep4Reset

Summary

This Prep4Reset project provides the essential framework for a multi-partner predator management project called “Reset, Rebuild, Restore: resetting the landscape to rebuild livestock production and restore biodiversity and communities” (Full Reset). The Full Reset project will reset the landscape to one of lower wild dog and fox impacts upon fauna, livestock and society. 

Prep4Reset will synthesise research and collect before-control predator, faunal and livestock impact data to enable the planning, implementation and evaluation of the Full Reset project. Prep4Reset also funds crucial networking to generate financial and time co-investment from multiple stakeholders in the Full Reset project. This facilitates the economic and environmental benefits that only integrated landscape-scale management can provide. 

Status

Under development

Objectives

  • Expanded fauna measurement regime around the base 6 sites . 
  • Collated data of extensive wild canid management and response . 
  • Expanded stakeholder network for applied predator control on public and private lands. 
  • Database of necessary predator, livestock and native prey abundance.  
  • Commitments for co-investment to institute Reset through networking and relationship building and maintenance. 
  • A potential platform for other projects.

Project Leader



Dr Paul Meek
Project Team
  • Dr Paul Meek, Vertebrate Pest Research Unit, NSW DPI
  • Dr Peter Fleming, Vertebrate Pest Research Unit, NSW DPI
  • Dr Guy Ballard, Vertebrate Pest Research Unit, NSW DPI
Project Partners
  • New South Wales Department of Primary Industries (NSW DPI)
  • New South Wales Local Land Services (NSW LLS)
  • Australian Wool Innovation (AWI)
  • Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA)

The project receives funding from the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment

Outputs

February 2021 update:

Camera trap monitoring has continued 24/7 across the active Prep4Reset sites. Images are being tagged as soon as we return from the field to avoid a backlog of untagged images and delays to analysis. This is essential progress to enable before and after comparison of predator abundance in response to the extended program, and re-invasion rates.

The Western Tracks project commenced, 30 feral pigs radio collared, and wild dog collaring started. These data are fundamental to providing valuable scientific guidance into future planning for management control.

August 2020 update:

Negotiations with other land managers and LLS regions in NSW and several cross-border regions in Queensland to expand the monitoring and baiting footprint and frequency of baiting in north east NSW and potentially interstate.

This project is highlighting the challenges of remote R&D, with bush fires destroying many camera traps at some of the project sites, resulting in lost data. These camera traps have now all been replaced, and the remaining cameras serviced. There have also been cases of camera theft and vandalization at some sites. Challenges aside, images from the camera traps have been tagged to indicate the species captured, wild dog DNA testing has commenced and some mapping of genomic patterns across the study areas has also commenced.

February 2020 update:

Unfortunately field sites for this project have been impacted by recent natural disasters including bushfires and wet weather. As access to sites is reinstated, repairs and replacement of equipment will take place. Despite this, development of collaborations and relationships continues with University of New England, NSW Local Land Services (LLS) and National Parks and Wildlife Service.

Negotiations are underway to establish a camera trap monitoring site in the North Coast LLS. A site in western NSW has been included, funded by Western LLS. The site aims to enhance landscape scale control by monitoring wild dog and feral pig movements, which will improve deployment and effectiveness of controls.

August 2019 update:

The Prep4Reset project has facilitated a range of collaborations and funding, including a 5-year, $30 million Environmental Trust-funded collaborative predator management project in NSW; “Developing strategies for effective feral cat management.” RESET aims to be a national predator management project, and to this end negotiations are underway with NT, WA, SA, VIC and QLD partners to extend the reach of this project.

Three technical staff positions have been filled, progressing field work and data analysis significantly. Newly-designed camera posts should prevent theft, and restoration of sites damaged by natural disasters is underway. New monitoring sites and GPS collaring for wild dogs is being investigated on the North Coast.

Numerous workshops were presented throughout multiple states and territories. Analyses on dingoes was presented to the Royal Zoological Society forum on The Dingo Dilemma in September 2019. A workshop held in April 2019 substantially advanced the theoretical framework underpinning eradication tools.

Scientific publications:

  • Ballard, G., Fleming, P., Meek, P., Doak, S. (2020). Aerial baiting and wild dog mortality in south-eastern Australia. Wildlife Research 47(2).
  • Fleming, P., Ballard, G. (2019).Yes, killing is sometimes essential for conservation. Australian Zoologist 40, 41-48.
  • Ballard, G., Fleming, P. J. S., Meek, P. D. and Doak, S. (2020) Aerial baiting and wild dog mortality in south-eastern Australia. Wildlife Research 47(2) 99-105 https://doi.org/10.1071/WR18188
  • Fleming, P.J.S. and Ballard, G. (2019) Yes, killing is sometimes essential for conservation. Australian Zoologist 40, 41-48. https://doi.org/10.7882/AZ.2018.037

News item:

18/05/20 – https://invasives.com.au/news-events/research-finds-best-bait-rate-wild-dogs/

 

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