Wild dogs are responsible for an increasing number of attacks on livestock in the Tweed.
Wild dogs are responsible for an increasing number of attacks on livestock in the Tweed. Contributed

Wild dog populations on the Tweed are thriving

WHILE feral pigs run rampant across the country, here on the Tweed coast and it's hinterland we are dealing with a far more elusive feral animal.

Four years of good rain has created ideal breading conditions with feral dogs have becoming a bigger problem for farmers and wildlife in the area.

These animals will happily prey on Koalas, Wallabies, Kangaroo's, cattle and anything else than can get their paws on.

The North Coast Livestock Health and Pest Authority's senior ranger Dean Chamberlain says the dog problem was the result of changing habitat as well.

"Dogs are a constant problem with regards to wildlife and are by far the biggest pest we deal with in our area," Mr Chamberlain said.

" There has not been a big change in Agricultural land use changes in the area for the past 20 years, land that was previously bare is now more dense which provides the dogs with a safe hunting environment or a camouflage if you like".

With plenty of food and water on offer, the dog population is thriving.

One of our camera traps captured five dogs, two foxes and feral cat in the space of a couple of weeks.

Baiting programs are constantly running in the area, most recently camera traps have been used to monitor dog numbers.

"One of our camera traps captured five dogs, two foxes and a feral cat in the space of a couple of weeks," Mr Chamberlain said.

Figures from July 31, 2012 to June 30, 2013 showed the extent of the problem with 3000 dogs reported, 909 animals killed by wild dogs, including calves, adult cattle, sheep, alpaca and domestic dogs.

And 188 animals were reported injured from wild dog attacks, these figures do not include the wildlife killed by feral dogs.

Wild dog habitats and habits are extremely varied; they can potentially inhabit any environment on the North Coast.

Wild dogs have a general home range of about 20 km2, but they can potentially travel hundreds of kilometres on occasion.

Property owners on the tweed are advised to contact authorities as soon as they think a wild dog is in the area.



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