Thursday, January 7, 2010

24,000 pigs eradicated on western Cape York to protect sea turtles

In one of the largest culls of it's kind, over 24,000 pigs have been removed in 3 years from the the coastal areas of western Cape York as a result of aerial culls undertaken to protect important sea turtle nesting beaches. Cape York Sustainable Futures has worked in collaboration with highly trained marksmen from the Cape York Weeds and Feral Animal Program to remove pigs from priority areas. These culls have been undertaken on land managed by Injinoo, Mapoon, Napranum, Aurukun, Kowanyama and Pormpuraaw with the support of the communities and traditional owners of these areas. Aerial culling is one of the most cost effective options in remote areas such as Cape York.

Sea Turtle Conservation Officer Brett Leis says "Surveys have shown that these culls have been successful in reducing pig predation on turtle nests. However the effort needs to continue and it is important that other techniques, such as baiting, are used to complement the aerial shoots".

A mob of pigs is targetted by a trained marksman in a wetland behind a Cape York turtle nesting beach (Photo credit: Courier Mail).

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