Wild Dog Alert

Summary

Wild dogs are a major problem for many livestock producers across Australia. Often, wild dog control has necessarily been reactive and expensive, with landholders and contractors effectively forced to ‘chase’ dogs after livestock have been maimed and killed.  In chronic cases this can go on for weeks, months or even years, taking a heavy toll on enterprises, families and communities. Tracking studies show that wild dogs may be present on farms for days or weeks before losses occur.

Wild Dog Alert is a system that could firmly place livestock producers and other land managers on the front foot to manage wild dogs. Combining automated recognition of camera trap images with real-time messaging, the Wild Dog Alert system could have an ability notify producers that wild dogs have invaded their farm before attacks occur to enable producers to act early. This will give farmers a ‘first strike’ capability in their fight against wild dogs, so they can be proactive and put in place immediate and targeted management strategies to avoid stock losses.

Status

In progress

Objectives

This project aims to:

  1. Develop a species and individual recognition system based on camera trap imagery
  2. Test and refine a telecommunication system suitable for remote transmission of image data and early alert messaging
  3. Construct a standalone device that will be tested at remote sites, with the capability to detect the presence of wild dogs, recognise them to species and individual level, and initiate transmission of an alert using computer assisted technologies
  4. Evaluate efficacy of the device by comparing the occurrence and movements of radio tagged wild dogs in relation to the detection foot print of the device.
  5. Focus on the development of a marketable wild dog alert product.

The research need is to develop, integrate and field test the components of an early alert system. Extensive stakeholder consultation has identified an early warning system for wild dogs as the priority required to prevent predation on sheep in rangeland and tablelands environments.

Project Leader



Dr Paul Meek
Project Team
  • Dr Paul Meek, NSW DPI
  • Dr Guy Ballard, NSW DPI
  • Dr Peter Fleming, NSW DPI
  • Peter West, NSW DPI
  • Dr Karl Vernes, UNE
  • Dr Greg Falzon, UNE
  • Cameron Allan, MLA
  • Ian Evans, AWI
Project Partners

This project is funded through an external research grant separate to the Centre for Invasive Species Solutions current innovation portfolio

  • Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources
  • NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI)
  • University of New England (UNE)
  • Australian Wool Innovation (AWI)
  • Meat and Livestock Australia Limited (MLA)
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