AWI fund new SA wild dog officer

AWI fund new SA wild dog officer

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Australian Wool Innovation has funded a wild dog coordinator for SA to support and assist landholders and communities to work together and combat wild dog attacks.

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Australian Wool Innovation has funded a wild dog coordinator for SA to support and assist landholders and communities to work together and combat wild dog attacks.

AWI general manager for research Jane Littlejohn said AWI had partnered with PIRSA to fund the position taken up by Marty Bower. 

"The position also aims to help coordinate on-ground wild dog control activities. This is vital but can be challenging for landholders without the external help provided by an independent coordinator," she said. 

The coordinator positions aim to help producers and other key stakeholders collaborate to reduce the impact of devastating livestock predation by wild dogs - and therefore improve on-farm productivity, rural community wellbeing and rural biodiversity.

"The coordinators use a nil-tenure landscape level approach with local communities to highlight the benefit of focusing on the issue and promote positive working relationships between private and public land managers," Dr Littlejohn said. 

"More importantly, it can have a beneficial impact on the emotional well-being of farmers in the area who now feel that something proactive is being done to address the constant financial and emotional impact of wild dogs," she said. 

The program in SA has so far controlled 135 dogs across 32 properties since commencing in July 2018.

Additionally, the trappers have undertaken 210 hours of training with land managers and their staff, to increase their capacity to control dogs on their properties.

Mr Bower grew up in the Adelaide Hills and Barossa Valley after completing studies in natural resource management.

He has gained experience in Tasmania, NSW and the Northern Territory, before returning to SA to take up the wild dog coordinator position.

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