Environment SA News

$2.67 million to eradicate feral pigs on KI

Feral pigs on Kangaroo Island are being targeted with a $2.67 million high-intensity program aimed at curbing the pest’s destruction on agriculture and the environment.

$2.67 million to eradicate feral pigs on KI
Removing the threat of feral pigs, particularly while the environment is vulnerable as it recovers from fire, will support the recovery of threatened fauna over the coming years and decades, back to pre-fire levels.

This $2.67 million program will help remove feral pigs from Kangaroo Island, which currently cost the community $1 million per year.

Feral pigs are not only causing ongoing damage to the island’s agricultural industries such as pastures, grain and potato crops, fence lines and dams, but they are also impacting on threatened native species and the environment.

It is an important time to implement this eradication program as feral pig numbers have reduced following the summer’s bushfires and there is an opportunity to rid this pest from the island.

In collaboration with private landholders around 130 feral pigs have already been removed by Kangaroo Island Landscape Board staff through on-ground action, but with heavy rains over the last few months, and regrowth in full swing, feral pigs are now on the move.

Farmers will be supported by marksmen both on the ground and in the air who will work across parks and farms, and will ramp up baiting and trapping programs.

Recent surveys have shown the feral pigs in parks are now on the move looking for fungi as they pop up after heavy rain. The feral pigs are a direct predator of frogs, fish, reptiles, birds and small mammals, and they also destroy habitats and ecosystems. Species at risk include the endangered southern brown bandicoot, the endangered Kangaroo Island dunnart and the endangered Kangaroo Island echidna.

The locally coordinated program, funded by the Commonwealth Government, which builds on the island’s ongoing feral pig control work since the bushfires, will be led by Primary Industries and Regions SA in partnership with the Kangaroo Island Landscape Board.