Feral pig population cut

Almost 500 destructive feral pigs have been eradicated in Douglas Shire Council over the past 12 months as part of a joint initiative to limit the widespread damage they cause.

The trapping program, jointly funded by Douglas Shire Council and the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, saw 466 feral pigs destroyed in the Douglas Shire in the past 12 months, the largest a menacing 120kg porker caught at Cape Tribulation recently.

An average of 500 feral pigs per annum have been destroyed since the program started in 2005.

There are two operational areas – contractor Cape Pest Control manages 65 traps from the Daintree River to the Bloomfield River, with Douglas Shire Council responsible for 20 traps from the Daintree River south to Wangetti.

Trapping occurs across all tenures including private residential properties, farms, road reserves, national parks and indigenous freehold land, providing effective feral pig management for the community as a whole.

Douglas Shire Council’s Coordinator of Public Spaces Peter Logan said feral pigs are the most widespread and damaging pest animals in Queensland and are difficult to control in rainforest areas.

“They inflict damage to the environment and lower agricultural production.

“Feral pigs are susceptible to many exotic diseases and they pose a disease risk to humans and the native and domestic animals of Queensland.

“Douglas Shire Council has a proven successful pig-trapping model that assists landholders to control feral pigs on their lands by targeting solutions to manage their impact in the region.

“The success of the program is only possible through the efforts of all stakeholders, including agencies, contractors, members of the public and the local banana farm Dole Australia which generously provides regular bait.”

Feral pigs can’t get enough of the bananas and can even be seen fighting over them on the motion detection cameras used in the traps.

The feral pig program encompasses an on-ground support and trap service which includes destruction and disposal, contract feral pig programs and loaned traps in agricultural areas to be self-managed by landowners.