As Australia’s landholders and governments grapple with the threat of increasing pest animal numbers, groups such as the Centre for Invasive Solutions are looking to guide landowners through control strategies, including using recreational hunters.
Sporting Shooters’ Association of Australia (SSAA National) Wildlife Programs Leader Matthew Godson recently took part in a Centre for Invasive Species Solutions forum on feral cat and fox management for landholders and discussed shooting techniques for effective control.
He detailed the SSAA Farmer Assist Program and how highly-skilled volunteer hunters could offer landowners regular control opportunities to get pest animal populations under control. The no cost service provides farmers and landholders with a simple way of finding qualified SSAA members to undertake shooting as part of pest control and/or conservation activities. He also gave advice for landowners looking to conduct their own pest control.
Recent research shows that feral cats and foxes kill and eat 697 million birds, 510 million reptiles, 1.4 billion mammals and well over 1.1 billion invertebrates every year.
Matthew said recreational hunters volunteering had the potential to greatly reduce the load on landowners and impacts on their individual property, while also contributing to national effort to reduce the $25 billion annual cost of invasive species in Australia.
Watch Matthew’s presentation on Shooting techniques for the Centre Invasive Species Solutions here