PIRSA to start feral pig baiting on Kangaroo Island

Feral pigs feed on the edge of plantation forests on Kangaroo Island before the recent bushfires. Photo KI Landscape Board
Feral pigs feed on the edge of plantation forests on Kangaroo Island before the recent bushfires. Photo KI Landscape Board

PIRSA in partnership with the Kangaroo Island Landscape Board is starting a program of poisoning feral pigs on KI.

Kangaroo Island landholders can access immediate support, including baits, to help rid their properties of feral pigs thanks to the state and federally funded $2.67 million Kangaroo Feral Pig Eradication Program.

PIRSA says summer conditions are creating the perfect time to act to help protect Kangaroo Island's primary industries and unique environment from the impacts of feral pigs, as they're looking for food and water so are more likely to take baits.

The eradication program is high-intensity, and aimed at curbing the pest's destruction on the Island's agriculture and the environment once and for all.

Following the bushfires of the 2019/20 summer, feral pig numbers were reduced from over 5000 to fewer than 1000 on the Island, and the eradication program is responding to this opportunity that has arisen.

The 2020/21 summer will be crucial for eradication efforts, as feral pigs will be looking for water and food, and will be more likely to take baits.

Recently, KI Land for Wildlife and Australian Wildlife Conservancy on behalf of an alliance of land holders, worked closely with PIRSA's KI feral pig coordinator to receive immediate support and free baits after reporting a sighting of five feral pigs.

Within three days, all five pigs had taken baits and died.

The HOGGONE baits were delivered in a recently developed, purpose-built device, which excludes kangaroos, possums and other native wildlife, and results in the quick and humane death of the pigs.

Landholders on the Island are asked to be on the lookout for feral pigs or for signs that they have been accessing water points, and to report pigs by calling PIRSA feral pig coordinator Matt Korcz on 0438 117 513, or by using the free Feral Pig Scan App.

Feral pigs not only cause an estimated $1 million worth of damage annually to the Island's agricultural industries, through damage to pastures, grain and potato crops, fence lines and dams, but they are impacting on endangered native plants and animals.

The locally-coordinated program is building on feral pig control work since the bushfires, and is being led by PIRSA in partnership with the Kangaroo Island Landscape Board.

The three-year program's steering committee is largely drawn from the local community, with membership including Ag KI, Livestock SA, KI Landscape Board, KI Council, National Parks and Wildlife Service, KI Plantation Timbers, the RSPCA, Australian Pork Limited and PIRSA.

More information is available at pir.sa.gov.au/feral-pig-eradication

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