Invasive species are the target of Federal Government funding with a $3.16 million boost to helping reduce the impacts of feral pigs, deer, cats, foxes and wild dogs on the environment and agriculture.
Four organisations will share the funding to continue delivering national pest animal management coordination programs, with Australian Wool Innovation being awarded $640,000 towards the National Wild Dog Action Plan, and Australian Pork Limited receiving $880,000 to tackle feral pigs.
South Australian Department of Primary Industries and Regions and Invasive Animals Limited (trading as Centre for Invasive Species Solutions) received the remaining funds.
The National Biosecurity Committee is also expected to consider a National Feral Deer Action Plan in coming months, following consultation earlier this year.
Agriculture Minister Murray Watt said the estimated annual cost to Australian agriculture from established pest animals like foxes is around $600 million.
“The Australian Government supports the national coordination of priority established pest animal initiatives through key policy frameworks, such as the Australian Pest Animal Strategy,” Mr Watt said.
“Increased adoption of best practice pest animal management, as well as improved coordination and information sharing, maximises outcomes of pest control efforts and drives down negative impacts on agricultural productivity and the environment.”
Federal Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek said feral species do enormous damage to native wildlife and their habitats.
“Feral cats and foxes kill more than 2.6 billion animals like threatened birds and lizards every year, that’s over 7.1 million every night,” Ms Plibersek said.
Ms Plibersek said the Government is committed to protecting native species and leaving nature better off for future generations — “extending the program is just one way we’re working to achieve this.”
National management coordinators are taking on leadership roles, working with industry professionals, communities and First Nations land managers to reduce the impact these pests have on agriculture and the environment.
There are at least 73 introduced vertebrate animals which have established feral populations in Australia.