19 Oct 2016
Support for targeted vertebrate pest program-Pormpuraaw
The coastline north of the Pormpuraaw community has an extensive Olive Ridley sea turtle nesting rookery with PLASM rangers currently patrolling and protecting around 18,000 eggs incubating in nests along 50 klms of very remote coastline
Feral Pigs pose a serious threat to all native fauna and flora, pigs were responsible for 90% predation of the Olive Ridley prior to aerial culling operations by PLASM staff in 2014, aerial feral culling is by far the most effective option for controlling pig populations in the vast coastal marine plains within Pormpuraaw DOGiT, predation of nests in the 2016 nesting season is currently 2 nests, ongoing culling operations are paramount to the long term sustainability of the endangered Olive Ridley Sea Turtles nesting on Pormpuraaw’s coastline
A two day aerial culling operation with two R22 choppers and licensed and accredited indigenous ranger staff in November 2016 was undertaken and 942 pigs were controlled over 284,000 ha area. These results show the advantage of reduced water availability and concentrate feral pigs at known permanent/semi-permanent water sourcesduring November period. A similar operation in 2015 resulted in 950 pigs being culled.
This project provided support for shooting or trapping to target predators of turtles, eggs and hatchlings works with Pormpuraaw Aboriginal Shire Council. This support is provided to the WCTTAA group through Cape York NRM and the Department of Natural Resources and Mines (QLD Regional Natural Resource Management Investment Program).