The threat of feral pigs in North East Victoria was highlighted during an action-packed environmental field day at Wooragee.
Wildlife management consultant Bob Gough showed visitors parts of an environmentally sensitive private property that had been ripped by pigs searching for food.
He said wild pigs not only caused damage but can also carry disease and were dangerous when cornered.
Mr Gough was speaking at the field day hosted by conservation organisation Trust for Nature and attended by 40 people. He encouraged farming neighbours to work together on pig control so the problem did not get out of hand.
Trapping is being used to catch the pigs at Wooragee, with signs that only one or two animals are responsible for the damage caused so far.
Trust for Nature’s Will Ford said this work was critical because the property had one of the North East’s best examples of nationally listed native grasslands, supporting a rich variety of wildflowers including several threatened species.
“These grasslands are classed as even more threatened than the Tasmanian Devil in the eyes of the Federal Government,” he said.
Mr Ford praised landowner Lance Elliott for the way he had farmed the land, not overgrazing it and restricting the use of fertilisers.
“Lance’s property showcases what can be achieved when we balance biodiversity with productivity,” he said.
Trust for Nature has also been helping Mr Elliott control Silver Wattles encroaching on the site, with the assistance of Mick Carey from North East Fuel Reduction.
Mr Carey brought along his rubber-tracked Terex machine to the field day for a live and very loud demonstration of wattle mulching. The dinosaur-like Terex munched through a stand of wattles in a matter of minutes.
Mr Ford said even though wattles are native, they tend to colonise open areas adjoining bushland and need to be managed appropriately to maintain grassy ecosystems.
Trust for Nature’s work at Wooragee has been supported by the North East Catchment Management Authority, and the National Landcare Program.
Contact Will Ford from Trust for Nature – North East for more information.