We need your help to remove feral pigs from the Otways.
Feral pigs don’t belong in the Wild Otways.
For the last 3 years, the Conservation Ecology Centre has undertaken an extensive program monitoring and control of feral pigs throughout the Otways. The program has been funded by the Australian Government’s Wild Otways Initiative and has resulted in a marked reduction in feral pig populations across the Otways.
Can you help us keep our feral pig control program in the Otways going? Donate now.
I’m sure you know that feral animals are having devastating effects on wildlife across Australia. Pigs have emerged as another highly problematic feral animal, impacting on both wildlife and natural landscapes.
This is partially due to their high reproductive rate: a sow can have up to 20 piglets a year; 10 sows can mean an additional 200 feral pigs added yearly to the landscape!
In addition, selective feeding, trampling, and rooting for underground plant structures and invertebrates, means that feral pigs can completely undermine a landscape. This extraordinary damage of soil leads to erosion. A mob of pigs can destroy a paddock overnight and devastate water courses and swamps.
“Over the last 3 years, we’ve significantly reduced the feral pig population in the Otways, and we’d expect more wins over the next few years if we can maintain this program. When this program began, I was far less optimistic than I am now about our ability to address the issue of feral pigs. I now truly believe protecting the Otways from this threat is possible.” – Dr Jack Pascoe, CEC Conservation & Research Manager.
Our feral pig program has brought together private and public landowners and managers, and this has been key to its success.
The program has also been driven by research, monitoring and training: tracking movement of single pigs across the landscape to locate populations; employing highly effective and targeted control techniques; demonstrating best-practice feral management to public land managers; and educating community about feral control and innovative tools to report problem areas.
All of this has helped us become really efficient and effective at locating and controlling feral pigs in the Otways.
But on 30 June, Wild Otways Initiative funding for the program runs out.
Can you make a gift before June 30th so we can continue our feral pig program in the Otways?
The danger of stopping the program now is that the remaining pigs in the landscape – the ones we possibly don’t even know are there – can find each other and start breeding. If this happens, we’ll be back to where we were 3 years ago, or even worse.
Feral pigs are currently one more threat to the plight of wildlife species in the Otways, who are also dealing with foxes, cats, deer and fire.
Our feral pig program has allowed us to keep numbers in-check, so they don’t lead to the demise of some of our most precious wildlife in the Otways through competition for food, habitat destruction, or the introduction of disease.
It’s absolutely heartbreaking to imagine that all the investment and all our work of the last 3 years could be wiped out. It’s essential that we continue this program.
Feral animal management must be long-term and strategic, backed by good monitoring programs and innovative, humane control methods that ensure efficient spending of human efforts and dollars.
A well-resourced and integrated feral pig management program can be effective in the Otways. We’ve seen it working over the last 3 years and resulting in wonderful outcomes for our ecosystems, water catchments, industry, farmers, and the broader community. But we cannot drop this program now. If we do, we lose all the gains we have made.
We don’t want our beautiful Otways and Great Ocean landscapes overrun with feral animals and devoid of our unique Australian wildlife and plants.
An Otways free from destructive feral pigs is possible, but we can only do it together.