Controlling feral pigs in region

AERIAL baiting has been conducted to control feral pigs in the Whitsundays.

Regional landcare facilitator Christine Peterson said the control was vital to the biodiversity of a number of ecosystems as well as the productivity of many sugarcane cropping areas and the protection of our grazing industry.

"Feral pigs prey on many native species, including sea turtle [eggs], burrowing frogs, sedges and palm fruit and seedlings, impacting across the landscape," she said.

"They cause significant damage to sugarcane through direct damage to the crop as well as damage to fields, spread weeds and also have the capacity to spread diseases to livestock and humans."

Aerial baiting was conducted on November 23 from Mt Dryander in the Gregory River Catchment, Proserpine State Forest to the west of Peter Faust Dam and to coastal wetlands south of the mouth of the Proserpine River and across private grazing land in between.

More than 2700 meat baits and grain based baits were distributed via helicopter by an authorised operator and ground distribution complemented the aerial baiting.

Ms Peterson said that the scope of the problem was such that not one land manager or organisation could pay for the control needed and a co-ordinated approach across the landscape was needed.

The baiting program was part of a co-operative approach between land managers and organisations.

Financial contributions were received from Reef Catchments (Mackay-Whitsunday-Isaac) with funding from the Australian Government's Caring for Our Country, Queensland Parks and Wildlife (QPWS), the Department of Environment and Resource Management, Whitsunday Regional Council (WRC), Whitsunday Catchment Landcare (WCL), Mt Hector Station and Proserpine Canegrowers. In-kind contributions were received from QPWS, WRC, WCL, Reef Catchments and private landholders who contribute toward ground distributed baiting.

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