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17 December 2020
Welcome to our December Newsletter.
 
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Chair’s comments
As we prepare to deliver the national Plan to the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, I wanted to take this opportunity to thank all members of the steering group, who have been drawn from a diverse array of stakeholders. Their passion, guidance and experience has been pivotal in framing the structure of the Plan and its content. 

I would also like to express my deepest gratitude to Dr Heather Channon and Dr Jess van de Weyer for their tireless efforts co-ordinating a multitude of consultations, conducting extensive research and actually drafting the Plan. Their professionalism and energy is invaluable and we would not have such an effective roadmap forward without them.

Lastly, but certainly not least, I would like to thank Australian Pork Limited, led so well by Margo Andrae, for championing this initiative and taking the lead on such an important issue for the country.

I am very proud of the Plan and look forward to its implementation from early in the new year.

John Maher,

Chair, National Feral Pig Action Plan Steering Group
The team meet in person at long-last!
John Maher, Margo Andrae, Heather Channon and Jess van de Weyer met for the first time face to face on Monday 14 December in Canberra, when the team got together at Australian Pork Limited’s offices to review and revise the draft Plan. Similar to many people around the country, and around the world, we have been working remotely and virtually - definitely a different way to establishing a new program from inception and working with you all. 
John Maher (Chair, NFPAP Steering Group), Heather Channon (NFPAP Management Coordinator), Jess van de Weyer (NFPAP Project Support Officer), Margo Andrae (CEO, Australian Pork Limited)
Progress with the draft Plan
The draft Plan is nearing completion and a recorded presentation outlining its key goals, objectives and actions will be released on Monday 21 December to our stakeholders, and also made available on our website. All stakeholders will have the opportunity to provide feedback and comment on the draft Plan from mid January 2021.
Getting out and about
Several weeks ago, I was provided an opportunity through Michel Durand from Field Master Systems to attend a feral pig aerial shooting activity in regional Victoria being informed by the use of a drone – the first opportunity to do so since commencing as the National Feral Pig Management Coordinator due to COVID-19 movement restrictions. It was great to see first-hand the application and use of technology to enable control activities to be efficiently and effectively conducted. Thermal imaging was used to detect pigs, then verified using the day camera.
Drone in flight
Aerial photo of feral pigs taken by drone
Thermal image of feral pigs taken by drone
Please get in touch if you are planning to conduct co-ordinated feral pig control activities, workshops and activities over the next couple of months to build our understanding of work already underway, promote feral pig best practice management and opportunities to attend to discuss the Plan and its implementation.
In the news
  • Squeal on a pig help rid Kangaroo Island of this pest
    - Islander, Thursday 17 December, page 9
  • Western Tracks collaring project update
    - Cobar Weekly, Wednesday 16 December, page 19
  • Help available to address feral pigs
    - Tweed Valley Weekly, Thursday 10 December, page 16
Feral Pig Mini Forum
Hosted by the Queensland Wetlands Program


Impacts from feral pigs on tropical ecosystems can be significant, particularly in wetlands, where they can destroy vegetation and negatively impact water quality and native fauna.
The Queensland Wetlands Program in the Queensland Department of Environment and Science hosted a virtual, half-day Feral Pig Mini Forum on 26 November 2020, in conjunction with the Wetlands in the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) Annual Network Forum.
The theme of the mini forum was “Working collaboratively with a whole-of-system values-based approach” and was attended by approximately 40 stakeholders working to control feral pigs both within and outside of the GBR Catchment area.
Interactive discussions about understanding assets and values, implementation of on-ground tools and approaches, and management and partnerships for successful feral pig control, as well as the following presentations were delivered:
Key messages from the mini forum include:
  • the management of feral pigs at the appropriate levels can preserve other values and assets
  • management of feral pigs must be adaptive and collaborative
  • training and implementation of partnerships is critical to the success of feral pig control
The Queensland Wetlands Program is seeking to develop further resources about feral pig management and the discussion from the mini forum will assist in this regard.
If you have any questions about the mini forum, would like to obtain further information or related activities please contact Dr Rachel Miller at
Rachel.Miller@des.qld.gov.au.  
 
    
Information Hub
Thanks to all those who have reviewed the material we have drafted on feral pig projects and programs for inclusion into the Hub. The value of this information being publicly available is an exciting innovation for the NFPAP – we are discovering new initiatives every day! This Hub will continue to grow, and as it does, so will our networks between co-existing programs that will help to lead further coordination and collaborative feral pig management efforts throughout Australia.

Stay tuned for the public announcement of the Info Hub, and please contact us to help this dynamic Hub grow and become a useful resource.
The damage feral pigs do to your hip pocket
Thursday 11 February 2021, 6pm - 7pm

North West LLLS has worked with AgEcon to undertake a study that puts figures on the real cost of feral pigs on several different enterprises and to compare control options. Click
here to register.
Australian Vertebrate Pest Conference
May 2021

The Australasian Vertebrate Pest Conference (AVPC), with the theme of “Feral Futures 2051” will be running as a virtual conference in May 2021. For more information and to register click here.
Wishing you all a happy, relaxing and safe Christmas and holiday period.
We look forward to meeting many of you in person throughout 2021
as we implement the Plan.

For further information or to get in touch, please use the contact details below:

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