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Invasive Pests

Feral animals are a significant problem to Australia’s agriculture industry and cost the community up to $720 million annually. Pest animal impacts can be wide ranging, with serious damage affecting agricultural and livestock industries, populations of native plants and animals, and ecological (or habitat) function.

Feral animals have few or no natural predators and successfully flourish in Australia, out-competing native species for food and shelter. Many feral animals are a declared pest and have contributed to the dramatic decline in native species populations, even extinction.

In Australia, most feral animals were brought in deliberately and include the European rabbit, European red fox and the cane toad. The main feral animals of concern in the Campbelltown area are foxes, rabbits, wild cats, and common mynas.

Council is currently reviewing its Pest Animal Strategy to ensure that pest animals impacts into the future are . The plan recognises that the following species are pest animals within the Campbelltown area:

To inform the development of a revised Pest Animal Strategy for Campbelltown, Council is encouraging residents to report feral animal sightings within the Campbelltown local government area to Council. We are seeking information on foxes, rabbits, wild dogs, goats and deer.

To report sightings in your local area you can visit the FeralScan website and register to record your sighting or download the FeralScan App for your smartphone.

The data required for each report includes the species, number, location, date, time and any impacts observed.

For further information or to report sightings directly email Council’s Environment Unit or call us on 02 4645 4601.

Indian Myna Birds

The Indian myna bird was introduced into Australia in the late 1860s to control insects in market gardens but has become a problem in cities and urban centres, scavenging off food scraps and threatening native bird populations. Mynas are well adapted to Australian conditions and breed quickly. The Indian Myna evicts animals and other birds from their nests and leaves tree hollows that are mite-ridden and unusable by other wildlife.

In an effort to assist residents to reduce local populations of the species, Council has launched an Indian Myna Bird Action Program. For more information on the program, phone 4645 4601.

Rabbits

Rabbits were first brought to Australia from England by the First Fleet but the real source of the substantial populations experienced today is believed to be the release of just 24 rabbits in Victoria in 1859. Australia’s climatic conditions have resulted in prolific breeding of rabbits throughout Australia and cleared farm lands have also provided ideal habitat for burrows. Rabbits impact on Australian animals by spreading disease and competing for space and food. The rabbit has also contributed significant damage to the Australian environment though the destruction of vegetation (including threatened species) which has also resulted in erosion, nutrient loss and waterway health decline.

Foxes

Foxes have contributed to the decline and extinction of a number of native animals in Australia and the cost to managers of livestock is estimated at $227 million annually.

In mid 2016, Greater Sydney Local Land Services (GSLLS) in partnership with the Barragal Landcare Group, the NSW Department of Primary Industries and Camden, Wollondilly and Campbelltown Councils established the Menangle Fox Control Group under the National Landcare Funding Program.

The Menangle Fox Control Project (MFCP) area extends from Gilead in the east to Razorback mountain and Camden in the south and west with the Nepean River the border to the north. The project focuses on a range of workshops and training events to educate land owners and managers on best practice methods to reduce fox numbers in the area using a combination of control measures with the aim to reduce fox numbers across the three local government areas.

If you would like further information on the MFCP, visit the Greater Sydney Local Land Services website.

Wild Cats

The original source of cats in Australia is unknown, they may have been brought to Australia as pets or as stowaways on ships. By the 1850’s there were several populations of feral cats existing in the wild. Wild cats are effective predators and are credited with the extinction and decline of many Australian animals through both direct predation and competition for food sources.

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