Wild dog DNA to help with pest control
WILD dogs remain a threat to native animals and livestock as well as to human health and safety, but their genetics could be the key in controlling the pest’s population on the North Coast.
North Coast Local Land Services is looking for the community’s help to gather information on wild dog genetics by providing samples from any wild dogs that are controlled as part of their regular management programs. These samples will be tested to determine the genetic makeup and the kinship (how they are related to each other) of wild dogs to help local and regional wild dog control groups better target their management activity.
“By knowing which dog is related to which other dogs, we can work out the size of the area local people have to consider for effective control of livestock predation,” North Coast Local Land Services invasive pests team leader Dean Chamberlin said.
“Having a better understanding of wild dog movements through the landscape helps us to identify which neighbouring landholders need to work together for better control. This can help to reduce impacts on livestock, wildlife, domestic pets and people.”
The success of the program will be reliant on Local Land Services, getting good samples from the community.
“By involving community members in the DNA research, there is the opportunity to build a better understanding of the issue, and this will lead to greater involvement in local control programs,” Mr Chamberlin said.
Local Land Services is keen to recognise participation in the Wild Dog DNA Sampling Project by offering a monthly prize draw of a $250 voucher to your local produce store, firearms dealer or trapping supply store for eligible participants who submit samples.
If you are interested in becoming part of the program and would like more information, please contact North Coast Local Land Services senior biosecurity officer Tiffany Felton at 1300 795 299.