Pest animal syndicates are an excellent approach to manage pest animals across a landscape. They typically involve a syndicate coordinator, who is responsible for coordinating activities, along with a number of members who actively participate in planned activities (i.e. a coordinated 1080 baiting program, a coordinated trapping program, etc.).
One successful wild dog trapping syndicate currently being undertaken in the South Burnett region is the Ironpot Wild Dog Trapping Syndicate. Located approximately 50 kilometres south-west of Kingaroy, the trapping syndicate was developed in response to local graziers being impacted by wild dogs, and aims to reduce wild dog attacks on stock.
It operates through the engagement of a wild dog trapper, who is subsidised by members contributing a financial amount based on the hectares that they own.
Any claims made by the wild dog trapper is managed by the Ironpot Wild Dog Trapping Syndicate Coordinator, who views and verifies wild dogs caught before the trapper can receive any financial reimbursement from the fund’s administrator (currently South Burnett Regional Council).
Since its development, participants of the Ironpot Wild Dog Trapping Syndicate have observed a noticeable reduction in wild dog impacts to cattle, which has significantly assisted all landholders during the recent dry conditions experienced.
The Ironpot Wild Dog Trapping Syndicate currently incorporates 60,000 hectares, with over 10 landholders involved.
As the Ironpot Wild Dog Trapping Syndicate is not an incorporated body, the greatest challenge was finding an organisation that was willing to assist in the management of finances collected from members. To resolve this challenge, the syndicate partnered with the South Burnett Regional Council to manage all financial aspects of the syndicate, including the collection of member financial contributions and wild dog trapper claims.
Tips from the wild dog syndicate coordinator
Tips from the Ironpot Wild Dog Trapping Syndicate Coordinator for those willing to develop their own syndicates, include:
- Set achievable geographical boundaries for the syndicate. Don’t try and bite off too much (especially when engaging a single person to undertake control activities).
- Make sure that all participating landholders understand that whilst trapping activities may not be undertaken directly on their property, the benefits of catching a wild dog on neighbouring properties will flow onto all neighbours (due to the movement of pest animals).
- Always talk to your local government on how they can assist in developing any form of trapping or baiting syndicates, especially if financial amounts are being collected and managed.
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