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The amazing trek by 'Midnight', a wild dog tracked by radio collar, illustrated with yellow dots, traversed some of the North Coast's most rugged and wild country. The dogs photographed to the left are thought to be Midnight's siblings.

Australia.-   Byte bigger than bark: Tracking wild dogs on the fringe Wild dog on a record run Pest animal reforms: government responds to NRC report WILD dogs might be getting closer and closer to suburbia – but the tale has taken an Orwellian twist: Government is watching their every move. Hot of the heels of revealing government’s new pest strategy last week, Primary Industries Minister Niall Blair and his team used satellite to check in on two wild dogs hunting prey in the Boambee Valley, just South of Coffs Harbour.

 The amazing trek by 'Midnight', a wild dog tracked by radio collar, illustrated with yellow dots, traversed some of the North Coast's most rugged and wild country. The dogs photographed to the left are thought to be Midnight's siblings. The amazing trek by 'Midnight', a wild dog tracked by radio collar, illustrated with yellow dots, traversed some of the North Coast's most rugged and wild country.

The dogs photographed to the left are thought to be Midnight's siblings. 


The two dogs – Qantas, a 3-4 year old male weighing 20 kilograms and Quench McSplash, a one year old female weighing 15 kilograms – are being monitored as part of the North Coast peri-urban predator project.

 The project sees wild dogs, and foxes and feral cats fitted with collars that are hooked up to the Argos satellite, sending out a signal out every 15 minutes for six months, providing high-fidelity data on where they move. Last month The Land heard from Coffs-based DPI invasive animals officer Paul Meek about Qantas, who was found to live in the mangrove and salt grass swamp beside the city airport, moving to higher ground during times of flash flooding and always hidden by bush. 

 Another dog, ‘Midnight’, was also found to journey from the peri-urban forests west of the city before going on a record exploration of 530km. In peri urban environment, people who had never had interaction with dingoes and wild dogs are now finding ther small dogs torn apart, which is an increasing issue. - Invasive Animals Officer Paul Meek “We follow them each week, we’ll get a download from the satellite and that tells us roughly where it is,” Mr Meek said this week. He said partiular attention was being given to the habits of pests between farmland and urban backyards. “Lots of research on dogs, foxes and cats has been done elsewhere in the landscape… but in Peri urban areas you’ve got a whole suite of new issues,” 





Mr Meek said. 0:00 / 4:12 “We’ve got people right at the interface with wild animals. You’ve got small in-holdings and livestock producers right on the edge of town. And so we don’t really fully understand if dogs are behaving the way they would out in a bigger landscape… how they interact with people, roads, airoports, other domestic animals.” Mr Meek said wild dogs were driving some livestock producers out of the game financially – but were also providing traumatic scenes for anyone who had seen their animals or pets killed by predators. “People hearing their stock screaming in the middle of the night.. waking up and finding a paddock of goats torn apart… and that’s something that happened no too far from here,” he said. “In the peri-urban environment, people who had never had interaction with dingoes and wild dogs are now finding their small dogs torn apart, which is an increasing issue.”




Mr Blair said the project was providing researchers with valuable information about the numbers, movements and impacts of wild dogs in the Coffs Harbour region. “I spent this morning tracking these wild dogs using radios and camera traps – I was then able to see first-hand the damage these dogs cause to farm enterprises, communities and the environment. “Wild dogs terrorise farmers by mauling and killing livestock such as sheep and cattle as well as spreading diseases and parasites.

“All these impacts cost the national livestock industry around $50 million each year and significantly impact the well-being of farmers and the wider community.” Member for Coffs Harbour, Andrew Fraser, said he was pleased to see these initial results and is looking forward to the research guiding further management of wild dogs. “From this data, we know the problem is not restricted to the farming community, but also on the urban fringes, and in some cases, on domestic animals.” 

http://www.theland.com.au/story/4708330/byte-bigger-than-bark-tracking-wild-dogs-on-the-fringe/?


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