Finding feral pigs via infrared imaging in the Otways

News > Our Patron and Board

The Wild Otways Initiative is aimed at protecting and enhancing habitat for native plants and animals in the Otway Ranges by managing feral animals, including feral pigs.

This work, being led by the Conservation Ecology Centre (CEC), has three elements: monitoring feral pig populations; engaging the community; and control of feral pigs across both public and private land.

To improve broad-scale operational surveillance methodologies and guide on-ground management strategies, the CEC is trialing the use of aerially deployed infrared sensors to detect and quantify feral pig densities at a regional scale within forest habitats. 

Aerial detection of free-ranging GPS-collared pigs using the infrared sensor attached to a helicopter will help to provide data on the detection rate of this methodology across varying canopy densities. The aim is to determine if this method is more rapid or cost effective in assessing free-ranging feral pig abundance on a broad-scale than the current camera trapping methods being used.

This project is part of the Wild Otways Initiative, Rewilding Program, an Australian Government funded project, supported by the Corangamite Catchment Management Authority.