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Feral pigs and deer on the decline in Werai Forest

Hundreds of feral pests have been removed from the Werai Forest, west of Deniliquin, as part of Murray Local Land Services’ Ramsar wetland and buffer zone project.

More than 300 pigs and 130 deer have been trapped or shot as part of the project so far, significantly reducing their environmental and agricultural impacts.

A recent aerial shoot in March, noted only a few feral pigs and little sign of pig activity or associated environmental damage.

Murray Local Land Services has worked with public land managers, the local indigenous community and surrounding landholders to achieve this result.

The project steering committee, comprising local landholders, indigenous representatives and agency staff, has worked to identify and implement pest control measures throughout the internationally listed Central Murray Ramsar site, which also includes the Koondrook-Perricoota and Millewa forests.

These measures have included baiting, trapping and aerial shooting.

Senior Land Services Officer with Murray Local Land Services, Jamie Hearn, said feral pigs not only caused environmental damage, but were a carrier of exotic diseases such as foot and mouth and swine flu.

“Deer can carry the same diseases that infect other hoofed animals such as cattle and horses,” he said.

“They also contribute to erosion and degrade the water quality in wetlands, creeks and rivers, and assist the spread of weeds.”

Mr Hearn said the large reduction in the number of both pests was a pleasing result.

“We plan to continue to work with land managers and landholders to maintain the pressure on pest numbers in and around these internationally important wetlands,” he said.

For more information please contact:
Jamie Hearn, 0447 420 789, or Michael Mullins, 0428 629 336, at Murray Local Land Services.

MEDIA ENQUIRIES: Matt Lane, 02 6051 2252, 0427 459 755.