Ben Hammond is the newest landholder to the Karara district, and has already trapped a bounty and is hoping to trap some more.
Ben and wife Clarrisa moved to Stoney Gully Farm a fortnight ago and immediatley set their traps and were surprised that the very day they were to attend the Karara and Gore Wild Dog planning and trapping workshop last Thursday, they had a trophy to take in the form of a dingo bitch freshly trapped that morning.
The couple, who moved from managing the Noorama aggregation south-east of Cunnamulla for Minnamurra Partnership, had been long been looking for affordable country and settled on their 230-hectare property, knowing there would be a dog problem.
The Hammonds will now set more traps before moving their 80 mixed-sex weaners from Noorama next week.
“While we were surprised to trap a dingo so quickly, we knew of the wild dog problem in the area, but the locals have been supportive, and have good trapping program in place and we are all on the same page,” Ben said.
Locals at the planning workshop said that sheep losses are a major issue with 500 sheep lost in the past 12 months, which represents 10 per cent of the district’s sheep numbers, while the wild dogs numbers are increasing.
The Karara Gore wild dog management area believe the wild dogs come from the main range, Leslie Dam and Drumsleed areas to the east.
Bruce McLeish, a local landholder and Zone Wool Manager – North for Elders said the workshop was the most advanced the Karara Group has held.
“We have in-concrete tools to use and stakeholders to approach and involve,”Mr McLeish said.
He said the collaring of dogs to see where they are moving to and from, would help define the area for when the group obtains funding for exclusion fencing.
“It is good to see the Toowoomba Regional Council, Southern Downs Regional Council and Goondiwindi at the table and want to reduce the wild dog numbers for sheep and wool producers.
Mr McLeish said the worst affected area was a 25km radius north and to the east of Karara.
The worshop was funded through the Queensland Feral Pest Initiative round two, with funding provided to Landcare and the Southern Downs Regional Council, to run information and group planning days.
All aerial bating is carried out by the Southern Downs Regional Council and paid for by the Queensland Government.