Large-scale project to manage feral pigs
MORE than 72,000 hectares in the Whitsundays have been targeted for feral pig control in one of the region's largest co-ordinated pest projects.
Cane farmers and graziers recently joined forces with Reef Catchments, the Whitsunday Regional Council, Whitsunday Catchment Landcare, the Department of National Parks, Recreation, Sport and Racing and Canegrowers, to help address the issue of widespread damage caused by feral pigs in the local area.
The program involved ground and aerial baiting and trapping in areas including the Clarke and Connors ranges, the Goorganga Wetlands, the Andromache and Lethebrook catchments and areas of the Whitsunday coastline.
Whitsunday Regional Council pest control officer, Bren Fuller, said at this dry time of year pigs tended to accumulate in undisturbed areas where food and water could still be found.
Mr Fuller said feral pigs in the Whitsunday region typically averaged around 60-70 kilograms, but could reach up to 150 kilograms.
"Left unchecked, they can do a lot of damage - to the natural environment, agricultural areas, cane paddocks and grazing pastures. They also create water quality issues by disturbing river vegetation and sediment," he said.
Reef Catchments land and water co-ordinator, Adam Folkers, said the program was an important collaboration between local organisations, businesses and landholders, with everyone involved contributing funds and time, in conjunction with funding and support provided by both the federal and state governments.