Feral animals are a threat to native animals and plants. These animals compete with native species for food, habitat and shelter and can spread disease and parasites. Some predate on native and endangered species, reducing their numbers dramatically. Others cause major impact by eroding soil and waterways.
Rangelands NRM often work with appropriate groups on control projects, including the Regional Biosecurity Grouops (RBGs).
Key feral species in Australia
Conventional methods of control include fencing, trapping, baiting and shooting. Fencing is used to exclude feral species (such as dogs, cats and foxes) from a particular area. A variety of traps can be used to catch animals, particularly when to come to watering holes to drink. Baiting of feral animals is usually done using the poison 1080 and many native herbivores have evolved a much higher tolerance to 1080 than feral animals. Shooting by trained shooters (particularly from helicopters) is common where ferals are in vast remote areas or in rugged terrain. This is quick and humane. More recently, biological control is being used where pests are controlled by nature predators, parasites or bacteria and viruses.