Your monthly update on programs, projects, events and more in the Western region
Animal health update from your local district vets
Cease and de-cyst: Bladder worm in sheep
Bladder worms (Cysticercus tenuicollis), are infective cysts derived from the dog tapeworm (Taenia hydatigena), found in the liver and abdominal cavity of sheep. They resemble small 'bladders' 50-60 mm in size.
They do not generate on-farm losses but are a major condemnation of livers and other organs at slaughter. The disease is present throughout Australia, accounting for 20 per cent of sheep at slaughter. This is an indicator of the tapeworm lifecycle and means more serious tapeworm diseases such as sheep measles or health risks such as hydatids can also occur on your farm.
Sheep become infected when tapeworm eggs are ingested when grazing, forming the cysts. It is then spread to dogs when they are fed offal or scavenge on carcasses. They then spread more eggs through dog faeces on pasture and the cycle resumes.
Bladder worms are easily prevented by:
worming all dogs monthly with a tapewormer
feeding only commercially packaged dog food
preventing dogs from accessing any sheep carcasses.
Mice plague household and small business rebates now available online
Households and small businesses impacted by the mouse plague across regional NSW can now claim rebates as part of the NSW Government's $150 million Mouse Control Program.
Households can claim up to $500 and small businesses up to $1,000 to help cover the cost of mouse baits, traps and cleaning materials purchased after 1 February, 2021. Primary producers who live where they work will be able to claim a single rebate of $1,000 to help meet the cost of protecting their premises.
Meanwhile, primary producers experiencing financial hardship due to mice will be able to claim a 50 per cent rebate on purchases of zinc phosphide, up to $10,000, through the Rural Assistance Authority (RAA). The Department of Regional NSW and RAA are developing the rebate framework, including how primary producers will be able to claim and the eligibility criteria.
Professional Wild Dog Controller Program raises the bat
A major milestone for the Professional Wild Dog Controller (PWDC) Program has been achieved with the 100th wild dog controlled through the program.
In the past 17 months, six PWDCs have worked with landholders in the Western LLS region to control wild dogs, as well as build landholder capacity with regards to wild dog sign, wild dog behaviours and management options.
Overall, 102 wild dogs have been controlled, as well as 48 feral pigs, eight feral cats and four foxes. Well done to the landholders from 37 properties that have had a PWDC on their property, and to the properties that have registered to be involved in the PWDC.
For those yet to be involved in the program, there is currently an initiative running where landholders can have a PWDC visit their property for a day for no charge. The purpose of the free trapper for a day is to increase the capacity of landholders to identify wild dog sign and discuss management options.
Landholders wanting to get involved or find out more can contact the program's dedicated administration officer on 0409 677 891 or PWDC@lls.nsw.gov.au.
Western Tracks collaring project update
The Western Tracks project team and local landholders are continuing to monitor traps and look for wild dog sign as they work to add tracking collars to additional wild dogs in the project area. To date, there have been seven wild dogs trapped in rubber jaw leghold traps, assessed, collared with tracking collars, and released at the point of capture.
Currently, only two of the seven wild dogs that were collared are alive and the project team are assessing how many of the deceased wild dogs have succumb to the recent wild dog baiting and trapping programs undertaken jointly by landholders and Western LLS.
All of the initial seven collared wild dogs were trapped within 50 km of the Paroo river channel and have provided the project team with valuable data (two are still providing data) on their movements around the landscape.
This information will, in time, be collated and made available to local landholders and stakeholders. With the collaring continuing, it is important landholders report any pest animal activity, so the project team have the best knowledge of where the current wild dog activity is for the duration of the collaring.
Coming soon — project partners, the NSW DPI Vertebrate Pest Research Unit, are looking to build on the Western Tracks project later in 2021 with their Western Prep4Reset Project.
Landholders show interest in the Fencing Northern Basin Riverbanks program
Landholders whose properties have river frontage in the NSW northern Murray-Darling Basin are encouraged to register their interest in participating in the NSW Fencing Northern Basin Riverbanks Program.
With over 30 expressions of interest (EOI) already received, now is the time to get yours in and undertake works that aim to improve habitat for native fish species, improve water quality and livestock safety.
Healthy riparian zones play an important role by providing essential habitat for aquatic, semi-aquatic and land animals while also acting as a buffer that helps to minimise erosion and prevent sediment and pollution entering our waterways.
EOIs are subject to eligibility criteria and priority will be given to those projects located in identified target reaches. Contact Michelle Kelly, program manager, on 0437 424 851 or email@example.com.
The Fencing Northern Basin Riverbanks program is part of a $15 million investment the Australian Government has committed to NSW and Queensland, with LLS responsible for delivering $7.5 million.
New dates for conservation tender information sessions
Due to COVID restrictions the Biodiversity Conservation Trust (BCT) has rescheduled its Paroo and Warrego Catchments information sessions and is now offering an online session.
Please note, sessions at Naree Station (14 July) and Tilpa (15 July) are on this week.
Through the Paroo and Warrego Catchments conservation tender, eligible landholders can apply to receive annual payments for managing a piece of their land for conservation.
This tender has been developed in collaboration with Western LLS, Western Landcare NSW, Bush Heritage Australia and the NSW Government's Saving Our Species Program.
Plenty happening on the NSW Wild Dog Fence Extension project
The project team are continuing to progress through the assessments for biodiversity and Aboriginal cultural heritage while working toward the next phase of construction commencing.
Aboriginal cultural heritage — along the NSW and South Australian alignment, Lantern Heritage (consultant) and Registered Aboriginal Parties, have completed some initial archaeological test pitting at potentially significant locations (see below right image).
Samples from some sites have been taken for further analysis and carbon dating. Meanwhile, Extent Heritage (consultant) has completed field assessments along part of the NSW and Queensland alignment and although had planned to complete the remaining field assessments by the end of June, some welcome rain has hampered proceedings. Assessments are however planned to continue through July.
Biodiversity — Niche Environment and Heritage (consultant) have completed the majority of the field assessments for the South Australian alignment. Some changes have been made to the alignment to avoid significant cultural heritage sites that will need to be re-assessed over the coming weeks. Niche will be analysing the results and undertaking further research on impacts of fences on biodiversity to inform the project's Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). Niche have also recently completed the field assessments along the Queensland alignment and the necessary reports are currently being prepared.
Improving your online experience — landholders are encouraged to use Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge or Mozilla Firefox when lodging their ALSR. Unfortunately, Internet Explorer has proven problematic in the past so for a more seamless experience, we encourage you to use a more contemporary web browser.
ALSR are essentially a 'farm census' at the start of each new financial year. Collecting this information is an essential part of understanding the state's biosecurity risks and ensuring that domestic and export livestock markets remain open for NSW producers. Importantly, the data ensures we can provide immediate, tailored assistance to you in the event of an emergency or when disasters strike.
Landholders that prefer to complete their ALSR online should keep an eye on their mailboxes from this week.
Planning underway for control works for Giant Reed in Broken Hill
Giant Reed (Arundo donax) is a highly invasive species in parts of NSW, with numerous patches growing in the Western region where there is a mandatory requirement for the weed to be eradicated (excludes the Wentworth Shire which is classed as a control area for this plant).
The Broken Hill City Council have found two large infestations of this weed in the Town Common, part of the 'green belt' surrounding the town. They plan to cut the massive growth down to a manageable size, and have a contractor ready to spray in the spring as the flush of new growth happens.
Western LLS and NSW DPI are providing technical support to assist the council in their efforts. Pictured is Courtney Lallard, our new Biosecurity Support Officer - Weeds, who is based in Broken Hill, with Giant Reed.
Courtney can offer advice and assistance to landholders across the region regarding their weed control. Contact Courtney on 0499 924 501 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Before we go...
There is plenty happening in the recruitment space.
Land Services Officer - Aboriginal Communities (based in Hillston, Balranald, Wentworth or Buronga).
The position closes on 23 July and can be viewed byclicking here.
Regional Pest Animal Coordinator. Applications close 1 August and the job ad can be viewed byclicking here.
Team Leader Land Services. Applications close 1 August and the job ad can be viewed by clicking here.
If you're interested or know someone who would be in one of these opportunities, please get an application in or share it with them.
Until next time...
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