Local landholder plays important role in biodiversity protection

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With the return of the cockchafer grubs, farmers across the Otways are detecting feral pigs on their properties doing untold damage to pasture in their pursuit of this food source – like on the farm in the image above. 

Engagement with a landholder through the Central Otway Landcare Network (COLN) has since led to nine pigs being successfully dispatched on that single property, which is one of many we are working on across the Otways.

Central Otway Landcare Network had previously encouraged using Feral Scan with the landholder, who began entering damage and sighting reports through the application, alerting Conservation Ecology Centre staff to the recent pig activity.

Conservation Ecology Centre staff and COLN arranged to meet with the landholder, who became directly involved throughout the process. They assisted with locating appropriate monitoring sites, setting up monitoring cameras to help identify the mob, daily free feeding- to get the individuals comfortable prior to trap and HogEye setup and finally dispatching/sampling the pigs by CEC staff.

This is an excellent example of landholder engagement where one-on-one demonstration and training have led to successful control and increased the landholder’s knowledge and confidence, so they know what to do if they encounter feral pigs in the future.