Study tracks wild dog packs
WILD dogs roaming on the outskirts of Coffs Harbour’s urban areas are being studied so authorities can gain a better understanding of dog populations and their behaviours.
Remote wildlife cameras have been installed to record numbers of wild dogs, foxes, feral cats and also native animals.
Ground animals such as bandicoots, wallabies, brush turkeys and wonga pigeons have been identified, as well as possums and koalas when they come to ground.
The remote wildlife cameras are set periodically each year and will provide useful information on the population status of the targeted species in the study area.
The study has found the boundary between urban and rural areas is blurring due to urban expansion, larger house blocks, rural lifestyle blocks and hobby farms.
These changes in land use in peri-urban areas can result in an increased potential for conflict and negative impacts from wild dogs.
Most wild dog research has been undertaken on the tablelands, slopes and western plains and very little in coastal areas.
This is despite reports of wild dog impacts occurring along the east coast of New South Wales from the Hunter Valley to Kingscliff on the Tweed Coast.
The study has involved North Coast Local Land Services, Department of Primary Industries researchers, Gumbaynggirr Green teams, Coffs Harbour City Council, National Parks and Wildlife Service, the NSW Forestry Corporation and interested landholders.
“The guidance of research scientists Paul Meek and Dr Guy Ballard from Department of Primary Industries has been invaluable and we have received excellent support from all of our project partners including public and private landholders who have allowed us to install the camera traps on their properties,” Mark Robinson, from the NCLLS, said.
“Unfortunately some cameras have already been stolen and posts on public land have been vandalised. Not only was the equipment stolen but the valuable data cards were lost, impacting on the valuable knowledge that assists in improved management of this complex issue.”