Protecting Wilderness and National Parks

Environment Minister introduces Quoll and Dingo extinction program

The decision announced this morning by the Minister for the Environment, Bob Debus, to reintroduce aerial baiting in the northern end of Koscisuzko National Park will help make the Tiger Quoll and Dingo become extinct.

"We need carefully thought through wild dog management that protects Dingoes and Tiger Quolls; not this knee jerk extinction program," said Keith Muir director of the Colong Foundation for Wilderness.

"Throwing meat baits laced with 1080 poison out of helicopters kills Dingoes and threatened Tiger Quolls, as well as wild dogs. Aerial baiting will also increase the dominance of wild dog-fox-cat regime that is destroying our wildlife", said Mr Muir.

"The baiting program is in direct contradiction to the park's Draft Plan of Management currently on exhibition. The Draft Plan requires National Parks and Wildlife to replace the current wild dog-fox-cat regime with populations of dingoes and quolls," he said.

"Two reasons for the low populations of Quolls in northern Kosciuszko are the recent fires and past pest control efforts that have killed them off. If you want to make Dingoes and Quolls become extinct in the region, then the Minister’s aerial baiting program would be exactly the way to go about it", Mr Muir said.

"When numbers of an endangered species are unusually low in a national park surely it is more appropriate to implement an urgent recovery plan than to serve up poison baits to the few population remnants left", he said.

"Aerial baiting is an expensive one-off control and the results of aerial baiting are not measurable. Pest controllers never know how many baits were taken and whether they were taken by wild dogs," Mr Muir said.

"Just to the north the Wild Dog Control Programs in Brindabella and Wee Jasper Valleys are using on-ground line baiting strategies to avoid poisoning Tiger Quolls. While this is encouraging, the approach offers little hope for the plight of the Dingo. If Minister Debus does not encourage the development of on-park Dingo management strategies that preserve the core of Kosciuszko, our biggest national park, as part of their domain then the Dingo is done for", he said.

For more information contact: Keith Muir, (02) 9261 2400 (wk) or 9550 3615 (ah)