WRC baiting | Landholders Driving Change

LDC supports feral pig baiting program

THE LDC project will match landholders’ contributions towards the cost of the aerial control of feral pigs in the Whitsunday region.

For every landholder who pays the $200 contribution to the Whitsunday Regional Council’s 2019-2020 annual feral animal program, LDC will match it.

Feral pigs contribute to soil erosion and weed spread, consume and foul molasses, lick blocks, pasture and watering points, spread disease and can reduce calving rates.

Aerial control activities co-funded by NQ Dry Tropics on behalf of the Regional Pest Management Group (RPMG), will focus on ‘hot spot’ areas and fly over these groups of properties, or syndicates. A syndicate may include up to 15 landholders in a Feral Animal Management Area.

Landholder contributions are tax deductible. For more information about the aerial control of feral animals, please contact Whitsunday Regional Council.

Whitsunday Regional Council’s Bren Fuller with a large feral pig.

Regional Pest Management Group

Pest plants and animals threaten our region’s economic, social and environmental sustainability.

As a leading member of the Burdekin Dry Tropics Regional Pest Management Group (RPMG), NQ Dry Tropics works alongside partners including Biosecurity Queensland, Queensland Department of National Parks, local government, industry and landcare groups to determine the region’s priority pest plants and animals, and how best to manage them.  

The RPMG has developed four long-term management plans for feral pigs, feral chital deer, siam weed and prickly acacia.

These plans target investment on high-value environmental, agricultural and culturally important areas.

NQ Dry Tropics is also an active member of the Sagittaria Working Group, an initiative of the RPMG, which promotes awareness of Sagittaria platyphylla among community members at regular events.

*Whitsunday Regional Council is a Burdekin Dry Tropics Regional Pest Management Group partner.

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Figure 1. Total fine sediment reduction by project type and erosion source. Inset shows the proportion of the total project area for each project type.

These estimates have been calculated using two methods: 

1) The pollutant reduction component of the Alluvium/Great Barrier Reef Foundation (GBRF) investment tool for hillslope and streambank erosion management projects; 

2) The Reef Trust Gully Toolbox method for gully erosion management projects. The LDC Water Quality Report 2020 (Waterhouse et al., 2020) highlights that a number of assumptions underlay these calculations, therefore these figures should be treated as the best available estimate of sediment reductions to date.

Preventing sediment from reaching the Great Barrier Reef

Each wet season sediment is washed into local waterways and out to the Great Barrier Reef (GBR). 

Most sediment is very fine, and can stay suspended for a long time and can travel great distances. Valuable topsoil is lost from production, and increased concentrations on the reef can be harmful to seagrasses and corals. 

Landholders in the BBB have completed 69 on-ground water quality practice changes, and it is estimated that these have contributed a fine sediment reduction of 6,154 tonnes per year from reaching the GBR. 

Of this, approximately half of the sediment savings are attributable to grazing land management changes on hillslopes and streambanks, and the other half as a result of gully remediation treatments across a broad range of scales, as shown in the graphs above. 

The table below also highlights the relatively small area of intervention in the gully management projects compared to the large sediment savings that these can achieve - 60 per cent of the sediment savings over only 4 per cent of the project area.

Table 1. Estimated sediment reductions (tonnes) from projects completed in the LDC Project to date.

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*GLMWW = Grazing Land Management Wire and Water

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*The Exploring New Incentives activity area has provided an opportunity for graziers to adopt improved land management practices through a range of activities. For some of these properties, it was the first time they signed contracts for on-ground works.

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The LDC project monitors four gully sites (represented in this table) with gold standard equipment and analysis, carried out by CSIRO.

Results have been compiled in a preliminary report from Bartley et al (2020), with the final report expected to be released by the end of 2020. The preliminary report shows all four sites have indicators of improvements, notably the Strathbogie and Mt Wickham sites.

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Reef regulations - grazing, standard conditions

  1. For land in good or fair condition (more than 50 per cent ground cover at 30 September), continue using measures to maintain land condition.
  2. For land in poor condition (less than 50 per cent ground cover at 30 September), steps must be taken to improve land condition.
  3. For land in degraded condition (less than 20 per cent ground cover at 30 September), steps must be taken to improve land condition OR prevent areas from further degrading or expanding.
  4. Keep records of measures taken and also of agricultural chemicals, fertiliser and mill mud or mill ash applied to land.
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