What is Western Tracks?
Western Tracks is a collaborative, community supported research project aimed at improving the management of wild dogs and feral pigs around the Western Local Land Services region.
In this project, wild dogs and feral pigs are trapped and fitted with GPS collars before being released. The movements of the collared animals are monitored after release during control activities within the region. Data gathered through this process provides information on:
- the movements and interactions of feral pigs and wild dogs with their landscape
- how feral pigs and wild dogs use the landscape at different times of the year and during control
- to assess if the control of wild dogs can be better targeted to avoid dog bait uptake by feral pigs
- the effectiveness of routine control programs.
Additionally, camera traps (also called trail cameras) have been deployed around the western Local Land Services region to monitor wild dogs. Cameras are triggered by heat-in-motion (animal walking past the camera) allowing researchers to continuously monitor the numbers of pest animals before and after control programs. This also allows researchers to assess what other species are present in the landscape, and how they respond to pests and pest control programs.
This project has been backed by private and public landholders, pest animal management and Landcare groups, Western Local Land Services, NSW Department of Primary Industries, NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, NSW Farmers Western Wild Dog Coordinator and Southern Queensland Landscapes.